As a New York personal injury lawyer, I know that words are weapons. When I prepare to try a personal injury lawsuit, I arm myself with the word-weapons I will parade before the jury. They are arrows in my quiver. I carefully pick them, and fine tune, and then deploy them. I am the general, the commander, and they are my infantry, my soldiers. Below I will give you some examples of how I choose and deploy my soldiers for battle.
But before I do, let me tell you that words are also my enemies. Certain words will forever be banned from my trial lexicon. The prime example is the word “accident”. Whether my client was injured in a car collision, or in a scaffold collapse, or slipped and fell in a supermarket, you can sit through the entire trial and never hear the word “accident” spill out of my lips. I will never say “car accident”. I will say “collision” or “crash”.
Why? The whole premise of a personal injury trial is that the plaintiff’s horrific injuries were no “accident” at all. They were caused by the NEGLIGENCE or CARELESSNESS of the defendant. The word “accident” implies that no one is to blame. An accident simply happens. In popular jargon, this is expressed as , “s_ _ _ happens”. The whole point of my personal injury trial is to prove that s_ _ _ did not just “happen”. Rather, the defendant MADE it happen by CHOOSING to cut corners, not pay attention, allow himself to be distracted, or whatever.