After a typical car crash most people decide to start a case with a personal injury lawyer to win financial compensation. As a car accident lawyer from a law office like James B. Dobbs Law can explain, the usual legal pathway follows a general sequence of events: The client undergoes treatment, evidence is gathered, negotiations begin, and in the end the insurance adjuster offers a settlement amount that you’ll either take or not. Sometimes, however, the damages are so great that the opposing party’s insurance policy simply wont cover the cost, or you might feel like you deserve more money for justice and closure. If any of this happens to be the issue and you can’t settle, you’ll have to take the case to court. Only through a fair trial can you receive an amount that exceeds the limit of the insurance policy as ordered by a judge and jury. But before your court day comes, what do you need to do to prepare for it?
Prepare your testimony: Similar to how you stated your case during your deposition, you’ll have to state it again in court. Your personal injury lawyer will assist you in preparing your statement and making sure that it’s right for your testimony. Some basic guidelines are to keep it simple, include all the important details and don’t exaggerate them (exaggerations don’t help). Above all, don’t lie. Once you’ve stated your testimony, stay calm: You told the truth, and you should have nothing else to add.
Select witnesses: Provided that there were witnesses at the scene, you’ll want to call on them as their testimony can immensely boost your argument. Your lawyer will handle the effort, but if there were any family members or friends who witnessed the event, your personal request will likely have more weight and work wonders when it comes to convincing them to provide testimony. Even if you do call on them however, their presence is not always guaranteed: They choice to testify is up to them. If you want to ensure that they do, you’ll want to give them a great deal of advance notice so that they have enough time to make travel arrangements, request time off work and get their other affairs in order so they can show up without issue.
Mind your outfit and manners: Lastly, for the day of your appearance, wear a dignified, respectable outfit and mind your manners in front of the judge. Refer to the judge as “your honor”, “sir”, or “ma’am” when the occasion calls for it. Judges and juries can make their opinions and decisions based on the way you look and your conduct in court, so it’s important to nail your first impression.