I just finished a trial in a car accident injury case in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. This was a case involving a really nice lady who had suffered a soft tissue injury in a car accident. She was (I swear) just leaving church with her daughter when she was in a car crash.
There were two sides to this story, however. The defendant alleged that the accident was my client’s fault, claiming she deprived him of his right of way. He retained his own personal injury lawyer and counter sued, claiming his own injuries of comparable severity.
Well, the upshot is that I lost this case. The jury just thought the other side of the case seemed more likely. I’m not sure what I could have done differently that might have affected the outcome. I will keep thinking though. I think the property damage pictures influenced the jury’s view of the mechanics of the accident.
Because of the counterclaims, there were four lawyers in this case- a plaintiff’s lawyer and a defense attorney representing each side. Many people would say the likelihood of an experience being disagreeable is proportional to the number of lawyers involved. Actually, all counsel were people I like and found enjoyable to work with, and were experienced, competent attorneys. Everyone was civil and respectful and did their best to do their job.
Nobody likes to lose. I hate it. I have a hard time getting past a bad result, turning it over in my mind trying to assess what went wrong, or what I could have done differently to change the outcome. But, at the same time, you’ll never win a fight if you’re scared to take a punch.
In the end, I think I’d rather be the kind of lawyer who takes a hard loss too seriously than the kind who doesn’t care.
My colleague Rod Gaston always says that only the tough cases get tried, but I can’t help feeling like Reese Bobby– “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”