If My Personal Injury Case Goes to Trial, Will I Have to Testify?
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may hesitate because you dread the thought of giving courtroom testimony. The prospect of testifying is certainly a challenging one, and while you will have to testify if your case goes to trial, rest assured that the vast majority of cases settle out of court. If you do have to speak in court, a good attorney will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared so that the experience is as smooth and stress-free as possible. At the Orange County practice, the Law Offices of Sean M.Burke, our experienced legal team will advise clients through every step of the litigation process.
Out of Court Deposition
Attorneys almost always recommend that you attempt to settle your case through out-of-court negotiation. Not only will it save you from the stress of testifying, it will also ensure a faster settlement, more timely payment, and significantly reduced legal fees. However, although you will not have to testify in court during negotiation, you should be prepared to give deposition. This question and answer session is designed to outline the basic facts of the injury and to allow the defense attorney to hear your side of what happened. The defense attorney will ask you about the sequence of events leading up to the accident, your injury, how it has affected you, your medical treatment, medical bills, lost wages, and other relevant information. Your attorney will usually be present and will have helped you to prepare for this process. Though this may sound rather intense, deposition is actually much less demanding than courtroom testimony, in part because it will be private.
What Will I Say During Testimony?
In some cases, it is not possible to settle out of court. This can occur because neither side can come to an agreement or because it may be in your best interests to generate public attention. For example, if you were injured because of a defectively manufactured car that resulted in a car accident, you might want to raise public awareness about these dangerous vehicles.
In all personal injury cases, it is best to act as if your case is definitely going to trial. Because of this, your attorney will help you to be fully prepared to give testimony long before the court date. During testimony, the defense attorney will ask similar questions to those asked in a pre-trial deposition. You should always answer directly and keep your answers simple and short. Never volunteer information. If you do not remember something about the event, say so. Above all, you should be polite, calm, and honest.
Find an Attorney
Although the prospect of testifying in court can be quite nerve-wracking, a good attorney can thoroughly explain the process and relieve much of your trepidation. If you are not able to settle out of court, you will find that giving testimony is a small price to pay to obtain just compensation for your injuries. To learn more, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.