<![CDATA[Any trial proceedings can be uncomfortable and stressful, and one that deals closely with the injuries you suffered and the circumstances that lead up to the event will be especially so. If you’ve been unsuccessful in getting a fair settlement for your personal injury case and are getting ready to go to trial, you’ll want to prepare yourself to present your best face, and to steel yourself for a good deal of scrutiny throughout it all. Even with an experienced attorney to handle the actual court proceedings, how you prepare and present yourself will have an impact, especially on how the members of the courtroom perceive you. Here are some ways for you to prepare for your personal injury trial.
- Read the court papers carefully and make sure that you understand what will be happening and what will be required of you. Be sure to bring them and any notes you’ve made with you on the day of the trial.
- Tell any and all secrets to your lawyer that could potentially come out against you in the trial. They are not there to judge you, but to represent you, which can only happen if they are fully appraised of the details.
- Gather any additional evidence to strengthen your case such as photos and witness testimony. Take a video of the scene of the accident and try to bring any objects that may have contributed to your accident.
- Practice any demonstration that you may be asked to make, such as drawing a diagram or illustrating the layout of a scene. Check it beforehand and have your lawyer review it for accuracy and clarity.
- Dress to impress in a formal, professional suit, pantsuit, or skirt suit. This is your chance to make an impression, so avoid excessive jewelry and dark glasses that could be distracting.
- Be polite to the attorneys on both sides, as well as the defendant if they are in the room. Never lash out, and speak calmly no matter what is being said to you or asked of you.
- Show respect to the judge and never interrupt when they are speaking, always answering their questions completely. Address the judge as “Your Honor,” and the bailiff as “Mr./Ms. Bailiff.”
- Be aware of your body language, and avoid fidgeting by keeping your hands folded in your lap. Never cross your arms, which can make you appear defensive or as if you’re hiding something. Whether you’re speaking to the judge or the jury, try to face them so they can hear you clearly.
- Stay alert and don’t forget that someone is watching you at all times, whether it be the judge, the jury, or the defense lawyers. Anything you say or do can be potentially used against you, so maintain a professional demeanor at all times.