On The Stand: Be Confident During Your Personal Injury Trial
If you are pursuing a claim against an at-fault driver, you may find yourself preparing for a trial. The best case scenario for a personal injury case is to be offered a settlement before you ever head to court, but you cannot always count on that happening. Being prepared for this somewhat intimidating experience can only help you to get the compensation you are owed, so read on and be confident on the stand.
Refresh your memory: The personal injury process can be lengthy, and often several months may have passed since your accident occurred. To help you get ready, re-read your accident-related documents, such as the accident or police report. Review your medical treatment records and your pain journal. Some personal injury attorneys recommend that accident victims keep a journal of all day-to-day ways that the accident has affected their lives, and it can really come in handy when preparing for trial.
Review your testimony with your attorney: One valuable bonus of having a crack legal team on your side comes when it's time to prep for your testimony. Practice sessions can go a long way toward getting you comfortable when the time comes; it can help you understand the potential types of questions you will be asked and how to best answer them accurately and completely.
Let your attorney in on your secrets: The other side will stop at nothing in an attempt to discredit you. Money is on the line, and insurance companies avoid paying accident victims like the plague. These two facts mean that your life will be an open book to the other side and their investigative actions. You cannot change your history when it comes to employment, medical, criminal, and personal issues, but you can allow your attorney to know ahead of time about some potential problems so they can be prepared instead of being caught off guard.
Know how to respond to inquiries: When it comes to giving testimony, there are few simple rules to keep in mind. Following these rules will allow you to have a successful testimony experience, which will lead to a better chance of winning your case.
1. Only give an answer to what is asked. While this may seem to be common sense, nervousness could have you rambling on and giving information that was not requested. Keep your answers to the point, and try to give as many "yes" or "no" answers as possible.
2. If you don't understand exactly what is being asked, ask for clarification before speaking. Take your time to make sure you fully understand and be sure to wait until the full question is asked before speaking.
3. Pause for a moment before answering a question to allow your attorney time to object and to gather your thoughts before you speak.
4. Be careful with open-ended questions; there is a tendency to go on and on. The attorney can ask further questions if needed.
Speak to a personal injury law office like Velde Moore Limited for more testimony tips.