The opening statement in a mild traumatic brain injury case must highlight the devastating nature of the plaintiffs injury and diffuse the defense’s attempts to focus on the plaintiffs appearance of normalcy.
The plaintiff’s opening statement in a mild traumatic brain injury case differs from any other opening statement. While the case involves a dramatic and potentially catastrophic injury, the plaintiff will look and sound normal. It is the devastating brain injury that will be the focus of the plaintiff’s case and the plaintiff’s appearance of normalcy that will be the crux of defendant’s case. The plaintiff’s opening statement in a mild traumatic brain injury case must highlight the first and diffuse the latter.
In most states, the opening statement is plaintiff counsel’s first opportunity to speak to the jury and to communicate as an advocate on the client’s behalf. The importance of the opening statement cannot be overstated. Indeed, various studies indicate that most jurors make up their minds in the first minutes of the trial.