For anyone considering taking a personal injury accident case to trial, the idea of having to testify in front of the jury and a courtroom full of people and me intimidating to say the least. In fact, for some victims the idea of having to testify can prevent them from going forward with an otherwise excellent personal injury accident case. It is certainly true that testifying in a court trial can be a daunting endeavor for anyone that is not accustomed to spending time in a courtroom. It does not, however, need to be as scary as it sounds. With the proper preparation and the right personal injury accident attorney at your side, it can be a relatively easy process and can make the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve and walking away with nothing. The following tips can help take some of the fear out of testifying and help prepare anyone thinking about taking a personal injury case to trial.
1. Prepare, prepare some more and then prepare again. The importance of preparation cannot be understated. While attorneys are accustomed to being in a courtroom, the average victim in a personal injury case is not. Everything is new and potentially intimidating. Your attorney should spend as much time as necessary with you helping you prepare for what will happen at the trial. You should engage in practice sessions to get you used to the way questions will be asked and how the defendant’s attorney will cross-examine you. Keep at it until you are comfortable.
2. Visit an actual trial. If you are able to, take the time to spend some time watching an actual trial. Almost all trials are public meaning you can sit in the audience and get a feel for how the trial progresses. This will help eliminate some of your apprehension and acclimate you to the courtroom procedures.
3. Ask questions. No questions is too silly or unimportant. Take the opportunity to ask all your questions before the trial starts because once you are in the courtroom your lawyer needs to concentrate on the trial in progress.
4. Keep your answers short and to the point. Many people want to explain answers or elaborate on answers. Try to focus on the question and answer only the question. If your attorney feels that additional information is needed he will ask the appropriate question to illicit the response.
5. Listen for objections. If an objection is made by either attorney, stop talking and let the lawyers make their arguments. Once the judge has ruled on the objection then the questioning can continue.
6. Try not to panic! Hopefully, if you have prepared ahead of time you will be comfortable when the day of trial comes. Remember that you are the victim and you are there to tell your story.
If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident in the state of California and would like a free detailed evaluation of your case, please contact the personal injury law firm of Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 or visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com.