I always assumed that personal injury cases where pretty straight forward. After being in an accident, any financial losses that you suffered would be reimbursed by the liable party's insurance company. Unfortunately, things only work this way in a perfect world. In the real world, personal injury cases are extremely complex and getting the insurance company to pay a fair settlement requires the expertise of an experienced injury lawyer. Unfortunately, it took me several months to finally seek out the legal assistance I needed. As a result, I waited much longer than necessary to get the compensation I so desperately needed. During this time, I learned more about personal injury law than I ever thought I would. It is my hope that this blog will allow me to share that knowledge with you so that you can avoid making some of the same mistakes that I did.
If your personal injury lawsuit has gone all the way to trial, you already know that you have a hotly contested case (since the vast majority of cases settle out of court). You want to do everything that you can to help your case and avoid doing anything that might accidentally hurt it. Here are five things to do if your case goes to trial.
1.) Review your medical records.
Do not get on the witness stand without reviewing your medical records. It's perfectly normal to forget some details over time or confuse dates, but that doesn't mean that the defense attorney won't jump on any inconsistency to try to weaken your case.
Go through your medical records starting the week before trial to make sure that you remember what order symptoms happened, how long they lasted, the tests you've had, and what treatments you've tried.
2.) Practice articulating your problems.
It's also normal to get nervous on the witness stand and forget things or stumble through an explanation. However, too much of that can hurt your case. The more clearly that you can articulate your problems, the easier it will be for a judge or jury to understand and sympathize with you.
For example, if you suffer from headaches as a result of your accident, you want to make the distinction between "neck pain " and neck pain with headaches, dizziness, nausea, and numbness in your hands. Don't assume that anything is obvious to your listeners.
3.) Make sure that you know how to get to the courthouse.
It's a small, but important detail. You don't want to be panicked on the day of the trial because you can't find the right parking deck or don't know what courtroom to be in. You'll subject yourself to an unnecessary amount of stress the day of trial.
In addition, make sure that your witnesses know how to get to the courthouse and where to park. Consider making a dry run to the courthouse a few days before the trial so that everyone knows where to go.
4.) Answer the specific questions you are asked.
When you are on the witness stand, make sure that you listen carefully to the questions you are asked and only answer the exact question. It's wise to take a short breath between the time the defense attorney asks you a question and when you answer — that gives your attorney a chance to object and prevents you from saying something you shouldn't. While a jury can be instructed to disregard testimony that was given before an objection was sustained, they'll still have heard what you said.
5.) Remember that you are always on display.
There will be a lot of faces you've never seen before in the courtroom, including jurors and staff members working for the defense attorney's team. Keep in mind that, during the day, you could be in sight or hearing of anyone involved during the case without realizing it as you go up the elevator, go to the restroom, or eat lunch. You don't want to be overheard by a jury member making disparaging comments about the defendant or the defendant's attorney. It could make you look bitter or angry and it won't help your case.
For more information on how to prepare for your day in court, talk to your attorney, such as Charles Aaron PLC, as soon as possible.Share