Who Are The Best Witnesses For TBI Cases?

So, what we like to do in our traumatic brain injury cases is use witnesses that knew the client before and after the injury and that can testify and tell the jury, and others, about the changes that they have personally seen and realized in the injured individual.

That can come in many forms. That can come in the forms of a family member, obviously, a spouse or a child can say “hey mom, dad, brother, sister you aren’t the same.” And, we meet with those people apart from our client. It can be very difficult for a loved one to discuss the changes that they have seen in their parent, their spouse, their brother, their sister, whoever it is with them sitting in the room.

So it’s like hey, sit down with us, tells us what have you seen, what have you seen, what has changed? Hopefully, they say not a lot and the injury, the symptoms, are not so severe. But, typically, what they’ll say is they’re flying off the handle, they’re just not who they are. We don’t know what’s happen to them, but they’re not as understanding, they’re not as empathetic, they don’t like me, and they don’t seem to like themselves.

That evidence and that testimony is very powerful to a jury we believe. Because it’s not just some doctor who’s up there testifying to it. Yea, you need the doctor who can explain the objective injury and what it is and what it can do, but, it’s all subjective on how it affects people.

So, we want loved ones, we want friends, relatives, neighbors. Even some people, say you have a yoga teacher and the client hasn’t been back to yoga since the crash. They say “I’ve called once or twice to see what’s wrong and they just don’t seem themselves.” That’s powerful evidence to say “hey, I’m the yoga teacher and she used to come 5 times a month for the last 5 years and now I haven’t seen her at all.”

That witness is not paid, that witness has no skin-in-the-game, that witness is just telling the truth. So, their bias is unsaleable. They’re just saying what they’ve seen, what they’ve heard, and what they know about the injured party. So, when we talk about the witnesses we want to use, which are the best ones, we talk about the lay witnesses*. And, that’s not any revolutionary idea, that’s what we’re seeing these days and it really does actually work. 

*A lay witness is an ordinary person who testifies based upon their personal knowledge and life experiences. A lay witness is distinguished from an expert testimony, who testifies based upon their qualifications of expertise in their field.

Posted Under: Brain Injury FAQs