Have you been injured in an accident that was not your fault? If so, it is an unfortunate fact that insurance companies might deny your claim outright or even fail to offer you the compensation to which you are entitled. In these circumstances, people sometimes decide to take their case to court. Once you have found an attorney who you feel confident can deal with your case, it is crucial that you begin to take steps to prepare for your personal injury trial. Let’s discover 3 things you need to know about preparing for a personal injury trial.
1. Lawsuits Can Take a Long Time
One of the most important things to know about preparing for a personal injury trial is that you will need to devote a significant amount of time to the litigation process. Generally, lawsuits such as personal injury cases involve both common and civil law, and as a result it can take several years from the date of your injury until you get any settlement money. Some people are even hesitant to file a lawsuit because they have fears that it will take too long to resolve.
Once a complaint is filed, it is crucial to remember that your case might not be heard right away. The litigation process involves steps such as discovery, depositions, mediations, negotiations, and motions that must be filed and heard before a trial can commence. Personal injury lawsuits that involve smaller amounts of compensation tend to be settled more quickly as do those that involve a clear case of liability. For these reasons, if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is advisable that you reach out to a law firm with experience dealing in personal injury cases similar to yours such as Kaplan Lawyers.
2. You Must Be Ready to Testify
As a key witness in your own personal injury case, you will be examined by your attorney and cross-examined by a defense attorney during depositions and at trial. Your responses should therefore be truthful, accurate, and worded in a way that portrays your side of the story in a confident manner. The defense attorney might try to frustrate you into making costly mistakes, so practice your answers as much as possible so that you can stay calm when answering questions and giving your account.
As a plaintiff in a personal injury case, you must be ready for confrontation. That being said, you should not allow yourself to become frustrated during questioning as this can decrease your chances of winning. Juries typically do not warm to angry plaintiffs, regardless of whether or not they have a legitimate reason to be upset. You must be able to explain any weak parts of your case without succumbing to pressure. Finally, show respect for everyone in the courtroom by dressing appropriately in formal, conservative attire.
3. Expect Personal Questions
When filing any kind of lawsuit, there is always a chance that you will lose some of your privacy. The defense attorney has the legal right to ask intrusive questions and can demand that you bring different kinds of documents about your personal, medical, financial, and employment history from the past and present. No matter what you are asked, you must present this information in a truthful and open manner. Additionally, you must not lie or hide any facts that the other side can discover.
In a personal injury case, there is a possibility that your medical records will be used as evidence. This can feel invasive, intrusive and inconvenient, but is often a necessary part of the litigation process. In large, high profile cases, some insurance companies might even hire a private investigator to follow you with a hidden camera. If you are caught doing something inconsistent with your testimony or doctor’s orders, this can seriously harm your case. Although losing your privacy can feel like a violation, if you successfully manage to receive a settlement, it will have all been worth the struggle.
Ultimately, the litigation process in personal injury lawsuits can feel overwhelming. It is therefore vital that you are as well prepared for the journey ahead as possible. Above all, make sure to always do your research and ensure that your case is ready for presenting. No one likes to think too much about being involved in a car accident. However, there are a number of steps you can take to make your next steps easier. Check out this blog post for a guide on what to do in a car accident.