Letting The Judge Decide On Your Personal Injury Compensation
When you are dealing with an injury caused by another driver's careless actions, the thought of getting compensated may not be foremost in your thoughts. You should focus on recovering from your injuries at first but be sure not to wait too long to consider taking action against the at-fault driver. Read on to learn what might happen if you settle and how to handle a courtroom appearance.
Can you settle your case?
You might hear "take them to court" when it comes to personal injury claims, but most cases actually never get decided in court but are settled outside of court. While a settlement offers a quick, less expensive and less stressful way to deal with an accident you may not be able to resolve your differences and agree on an adequate amount with the other side. Once you file suit, the process begins, but you can still be offered a settlement even after your court case has opened.
Play your part
Having a personal injury attorney to represent you in negotiations and at the trial is a smart move, but your participation can turn your case into a far more successful event than if you just sat back and became a spectator. Here are some tips to help you get prepared for the court case and how to act once it's your turn on the stand:
1. Remember: It might have been some months ago that your accident happened, and a refresher is in order to help you to not only listen to others but to testify yourself. If you were fortunate enough to have been advised to keep a pain journal, then that will serve you well now. You can also review your paperwork, medical records and receipts, photos and recordings and more. The more you can remember the easier it will be to answer questions.
2. Stay cool on the stand: The other side might try to get you flustered and confused, but remember that you can take all the time you need to answer. Avoid going on and on about something and stick to answering only one question at a time. Rambling could have you accidentally saying something you regret.
3. Ask for clarification: If the question is confusing or are coming at you too quickly, you can ask for help. Let the judge know that you don't understand the question and ask for it to be rephrased. Remember, you can always give the answer of "I don't know" if you truly don't know the answer; doing that is far better than speculating or guessing.
Your personal injury lawyer has many cases to look back on and help you get prepared, so rely on the support of your legal team during this stressful but important experience.