About Austin Bradley
Austin Bradley dedicates 80% of his legal practice to plaintiff’s personal injury cases. He also practices criminal defense. Austin begins each case by trying to understand exactly what his injured client’s life is like, so that he can effectively convey it to a judge or jury if the case goes to trial. It is not unusual for Austin to spend hours talking with his clients as the claim proceeds through the court system.
“It is absolutely necessary to know the details of how a person’s injuries have changed their life. You have to be able to tell their story in the courtroom from beginning to end with specific examples. It is not enough to generally tell a jury that your client is seriously injured, you need specific stories,” says Austin.
“For example, if your client suffered a spinal cord injury, you can keep a jury engaged throughout the trial by bringing in your client’s family and friends to testify about all the ways they help out your injured client. This normally includes helping him get dressed, tying his shoes, driving him to his doctor visits, giving him his medication, helping him bathe, preparing his meals, doing his laundry, cleaning his house, and so much more. The testimony of the family and friends is much more effective than putting on a doctor or nurse to describe your client’s injuries in complex medical terms,” Austin advises.
“It also helps the jury see how the injury has affected many people, and the jury is much more likely to allow an amount that will help hire some professional assistance for your client. They see that his condition is a burden to those around him, and will want to help those people too.”
You also have to be completely genuine and truthful with a jury. “That means no exaggerating, no embellishing.” Austin recalls a trial he once witnessed where a lawyer representing a client with a mild brain injury told the jury in his opening statement that the brain injury affected his client’s balance and ability to walk. Later in the trial, when that same attorney called his client to the stand, she walked across the courtroom and right in front of the jury wearing high heels. “The lawyer completely lost the jury’s trust at that point. Nothing he said after that mattered.”
“Being a good lawyer is mostly common sense,” says Austin. “Tell the truth, work hard, be prepared, and take time to reflect on your cases. Treat clients, juries, judges, and opposing attorneys the way you would want to be treated. Also, realize you are not the most important person in the room, your client is.”
Austin Bradley is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. He lives in Carl Junction, Missouri with his three-year-old daughter. Austin is also member of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, a statewide association of trial lawyers who represent seriously injured people. Austin has tried to a jury multiple personal injury cases in the State of Missouri, and dedicates the majority of his practice to serving those who have been wrongfully injured.