Before I started plaintiff’s personal injury work, I spent a year at the local prosecution office. It was an awesome job. I loved working to make the community safer and helping victims get justice. (And the people I worked with were great: my colleagues, our staff, the police, the defense bar, and the court). And I thought that leaving prosecution meant leaving public service, but surprisingly I was wrong.
Plaintiff’s personal injury, if done right, accomplishes some of the same goals as prosecution: community safety and justice for victims.
“At the end of the day, this case comes down to one question: is safety important in Richmond?
You represent the City of Richmond. You speak for this community.
If you decide for the corporation, you are saying that safety is not important here. That we should leave these signs [holding yellow caution sign] in Henrico [the neighboring jurisdiction], because we do not need them here in Richmond.
But if safety is important here and if these caution signs exist for a reason, then return a verdict that forces the corporation to take safety seriously.”
Those were my last words to the jury in a personal injury case this year. And, thankfully, the jury returned a verdict that forced the corporation to take safety seriously and compensated my client (i.e. the victim) for what the corporation’s negligence took from his health and quality of life.
After the trial, a juror offered me the following feedback: “I can’t speak for others but I did consider sending a message to the corporation about taking safety seriously when we were going through this process.”
So, yes, if done right, plaintiff’s personal injury accomplishes some of the same goals as prosecution: community safety and justice for victims.