Taking Charge Of Your Personal Injury Trial

15 May 2017
 Categories: , Blog


For those injured because of another's careless or negligent act, going to court is usually a last resort. When you consider how time-consuming it can be to deal with court calendars and the inevitable delays and continuances, you very likely hoped for a settlement before the big day arrived. While the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court, in some cases you and your attorney may need to proceed with a trial. You can help improve your chances of success by taking on an important role in the trial process. Read on to learn more about how to play your part when your case comes to trial.

Taking the stand: This is your big moment, so preparation is key. Your accident may have occurred months ago, so take some time to review your records, such as the accident report, any photos, your medical records and your journal entries (you have been making journal entries, haven't you?). Giving yourself a review of the long road you have traveled up to this point can help you give quick and complete answers to interrogations by both your attorney and the defense. Many attorneys will hold some practice sessions with you to get you ready to tell your story.

Other testimony tips include:

  • Refuse to allow the other side to make you nervous with complicated questions or by speaking too fast. Give your attorney an opportunity to object after each question and take your time about answering each question. If you don't fully understand what is being asked, ask for the question to be repeated.
  • Only answer what is being asked. Anxiety tends to make people ramble; so resist that urge and keep your answers concise and to the point.
  • Be wary of vague or open-ended questions. Ask for clarification and make that attorney get more specific.
  • If you accidentally say something that you did not intend to say, let the judge know right away so that you can correct your statement.

Opening yourself up to scrutiny: When you engage in a legal battle, you are exposing yourself to a level of investigation that could rival a government agency check. Everyone has issues in their backgrounds that they may not be proud of, and keeping information from your attorney could end up harming your case. Be upfront with your attorney about any criminal, financial, employment or personal issues that could come up in court. Only by giving your attorney a "heads up" can that attorney be prepared to counter any allegations.

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