Fully Define Your Damages
We start with this premise: Society — and thus, juries — place a large value on mental health.
So we, as lawyers, should not be shy about encouraging our clients to seek treatment from a mental health professional.
A gentleman whose leg is crushed in a forklift accident wouldn’t think twice about consulting a physician. In fact, he’d be considered crazy if he didn’t. We should take the same approach with any psychological harm he experiences due to that injury.
Establishing an early connection with a mental health treater is important for two reasons:
First, it can help the client heal. Second, it can help the lawsuit.
Unlike a family member or friend who testifies, a mental health professional is an objective, third-party witness who has experience connecting the dots for juries.
They can help us explain the client’s loss in all of its permutations.
And if we get them involved early enough, they can help us keep a real-time record of the client’s grief or suffering, so we have the best chance of conveying the entirety of their loss to a jury.
Our article runs through several hypotheticals to better explain these ideas.
But the most important takeaway is this: if a lawyer doesn’t think ahead, at the end of their lawsuit they may be left staring at a big, missed opportunity.
That’s the difference between good and great.