What Happens At Trial

Trial Lawyers

No. This is another myth. Most lawyers handling accident and injury cases are very ethical and do not stand in front of Juries and Judges and tell lies to them. But, we are aware of this reputation which has been spread in movies, press-releases and by politicians, who all see injury lawyers as an easy target. Like any one else with children, wives and husbands, Lawyers want our families and friends — and clients — to be proud and respect what we do. We certainly are. We believe that there is nothing as rewarding as helping a client who was injured because of a negligent act, or has been treated badly by an insurance company, than working hard to receive an honorable and just verdict.

The vast majority of these cases are defended by insurance company lawyers. Most large and small businesses and homes are covered by insurance policies that pay for dog bite claims, slip and fall claims, and negligent injury claims. In such cases, the Verdict awarded by the Jury will be paid by the insurance company.

Most likely, although not in every case, the defense lawyer is being paid by a large insurance company. Automobile, truck, and motorcycle insurance policies pay for the insurance defense lawyer and the cost of defense. The Insurance Company will pay the Verdict awarded by the jury, except in very unusual circumstances.

It is actually very difficult for you or your lawyer to lie or exaggerate in Court and get away with it. Before Trial begins, almost everything that will be said or shown to Jurors has been recorded and said at an earlier time in front of a court reporter. If you or your lawyer lie about something, the Insurance Defense lawyer and the Court usually knows about it instantly. The Defense will point out the lie to the Jury. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of injury clients and lawyers do not lie in Court and would be caught if they did.

Jury FAQ's

Yes, sadly this occasionally happens. Jurors are usually instructed by the Judge not to decide a case based upon sympathy or judgmental feelings. It is improper in Georgia for Jurors to return a verdict on anything other than the evidence in the case. When a Juror feel that an injury victim does not measure up to their own personal standards of clean-living, or feels sorry for the defense, the Juror must set aside those feelings and base the size of the Verdict on the harms and losses caused to the victim. This must be true in both small and very large cases.

Nobody wants to hand money to someone who does not “deserve” it, even when the money is coming from an insurance company. But, our civil justice system is a “you break it” — “you bought it” system. The defense cannot make your injuries or pain magically go away, so our Founding Fathers agreed that money must serve as payment for pain and injury. This means that the amount of money must be equivalent to the harm caused. Most Jurors are caring and compassionate people who understand this concept.

Lawsuits are very expensive. Our firm, like most lawyers, cannot afford to accept weak or frivolous cases, let alone take these cases to trial. Today’s Jurors are very smart and not easily fooled. Any lawyer who tries to present false evidence, tries to invent a case with un-necessary medical care, or urges a client to lie risks losing a lot of money when the Jury rejects the case. A lawyer can also lose his license or be severely punished by the Court for lying, asking his or her client to lie, or making up evidence.

We believe so. The Millar Law Firm does not accept cases from people who are only pretending to be hurt. Our cases are carefully screened, and we will do our best to support your claim with the proper medical evidence at Trial. We decline at least ten cases for every one case we accept. Insurance companies sometimes refuse to settle a case because they know that forcing a victim to wait for Jury Trial can take one or two years (or longer), knowing that the victim may no longer “look” injured. This delay tactic is most common when the injury victim was healthy prior to the accident, but now suffers from chronic pain that cannot be “seen” by the Jury.

No. Some of our clients realize they need a lawyer right away. It is vital that the investigation of a case begins as soon as possible. Sometimes this means that our clients have not yet been to the doctor or to the hospital. The Millar Law Firm never tells anyone who is not hurt to seek medical attention.

Our system is designed to pay money as compensation for injuries. Jurors have a duty to be honest when questioned during jury selection. Before most trials begin, we are allowed to ask potential Jurors if they do not believe that they can or should award money to an injured person. Any Juror who feels this way must be honest, and in Georgia may be excused from the Jury duty if they honestly admit a bias against awarding money. When a Juror is not fair and honest, the trial is not fair.

Fair or not, Georgia law does not allow a person to tell Jurors that she could not afford medical care, even though from our experience this is the most common reason that clients do not see a doctor or go to the hospital right away.

In most instances, your Medical Records are not allowed by the Georgia Rules of Evidence to be given to the Jury. But, you can be questioned about what is in your records by lawyers for the Insurance Company. The insurance defense lawyers will have carefully gone through your records and will ask about anything he or she feels might call your injury into question.

You and your doctors will be questioned by the insurance defense lawyers at or in a deposition before trial. If there were ever any evidence that a lawyer tried to influence the medical care and treatment, the defense lawyers will certainly point this out. The Millar Law Firm does not direct client medical care or encourage our clients to have un-necessary medical treatment.


Unfortunately, yes. If you were injured by a nice (and sympathetic) person who was negligent, and a lawsuit is needed, Georgia law requires you to file suit against the person individually, instead of against their insurance company. However, person who is being sued is probably not going to pay any of the Jury Verdict. In most motor-vehicle or premises liability cases, the insurance company will pay 100% of the Jury’s Verdict up to the amount of insurance coverage.

It takes the average lawyer and law firm between 100-500 hours of time and thousands of dollars in court costs to prepare for a trial. The entire process often takes between 1 and 2 years – even a simple fender-bender case. With legal and administrative time costing hundreds of dollars an hour, the lawyer’s expense for even a simple Jury trial begins around $15,000.00 and runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Georgia Rules of Evidence do not allow the participants in most Civil Injury cases to discuss any insurance coverage, such as car, truck, motorcycle, health, business, workers compensation, or other types of insurance. Many people find this very frustrating, but it is the law of Georgia.

Probably not. Although News Talk Shows, Insurance Company commercials and Politicians have done a great job of convincing some people that all or most lawsuits are frivolous, this is a myth. In reality, lawsuits are screened by the Judge. Almost all frivolous cases are thrown out of court long before they go in front of a Jury. Most Jurors will quickly figure out that your case is legitimate and will treat your case fairly.

This is possible, but not very likely. Automobile, homeowners, or business insurance will most likely pay any Verdict the Jury awards to you. Additionally, retirement funds are usually entitled to special protection, meaning that they cannot be seized to collect a verdict.

The answer is the contingency fee. A law firm for the injured person agrees to provide all of the attorney and legal staff time and resources without up-front payment, often for years at a time. This is big risk for the lawyers and means fronting thousands of dollars of court costs until the case ends. A lawyer hopes to win a Verdict and be paid a fee and recover the court costs. A lawyer has to eat, support a family, and pay the legal staff. Trying to make a living by making-up evidence or filing weak claims and trying to “trick” Jurors would spell financial disaster. The reality is that injury lawyers screen injury cases very carefully and do not handle frivolous claims.

Trial Testimony

Insurance companies know that unless the case is very large the injured person may not be able to afford to use experts. But, while the insurance company can afford these experts, most likely the insurance company will NOT produce a defense expert. Why not? Because the insurance defense lawyers know that their experts may admit that people are seriously injured every day in exactly the same way that you were hurt.

Maybe not. Live medical testimony is incredibly expensive! But medical testimony CAN be (and usually is) read to the Jury. Doctors, especially experts like Surgeons have to be paid to appear live in Court. They charge $3,000-$5,000 to testify in Court. Many of our clients cannot afford this charge, and unless the case is worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, we may read a report or transcript to the Jury instead of calling the doctor as a “live” witness because our client ends up repaying this cost from the verdict. Expensive testimony can eat-up an entire verdict.

Believe it or not, the Georgia Rules of Evidence do not allow the police officer to give an opinion about who was at fault for causing an accident unless the officer actually saw the accident. Just because the injured person did not ask who caused the accident, does not mean they are afraid of the answer.

In a Georgia injury case, Police officers may only testify about what they saw and what was said to them. If the police officer did not witness the accident, he or she may not be able to say anything valuable to the Jury and may not testify. Generally speaking, a police officer who did not witness an accident is not allowed to give his or opinion about who caused the crash. The Millar Law Firm believes that police officers time is very valuable and the officer should not be called unless there is a good reason to do so.

Georgia law allows an injured person to read a special report from the doctor called a “Medical Narrative,“ to the Jury instead of paying for the doctor as a witness. A medical narrative can only be read after the Court has pre-approved this Report. The medical narrative is usually written as a letter from a doctor to a lawyer and is considered equal to live testimony.