Statistics show that between 20 and 50 million Americans are injured or disabled annually due to car crashes. Of these accidents, approximately 1.2 million die yearly. This is why numerous vehicular mishaps result to lawsuits.
In situations where the party at fault is clear, settlement of personal injury (PI) claims would be a breeze. However, if there are gray areas and none of the parties want to admit fault, PI cases can prove complex.
To increase the odds of winning a PI claim, it is best to be ready for a lawsuit. The pointers provided here are important tips on preparing for the court after a car crash. This guideline is meant to prepare you mentally, physically and emotionally for a courtroom proceeding.
Tip#1: Prepare What You Intend to Say
Before your day in court, it is important that you are prepared with the information you are willing to divulge. To be able to prepare what you want say however, it is necessary that you first learn courtroom procedure, particularly if you have no prior experience in it.
Having courtroom procedure knowledge will allow you more ease and remove your anxiety.
The other things you need to prepare for, to be able to gain a solid framework of what you will say in court are as follows:
- Thorough review of the case – details of the case will give you ideas of what needs to be stated in court;
- All supporting documents and photographs – knowing what you have will enable you to prepare stronger statements where you have strong proofs, and make you knowledgeable about the important details that may be asked of you in court;
- Fair calculation of damages –you have to consider the worth of the damages you incurred to be able to declare in court the value you wish you recover and prepare the supporting evidences for your claim
- Prepare your testimony – once you have all the foregoing information and made the necessary preparations, you can now draft your testimony and be ready to say it in court.
It is important to be truthful with your statements and answers or you run the risk of perjuring yourself. Perjury, or lying under oath, is a misdemeanor in most states. It is also advisable to answer only the questions asked of you and not volunteer any information, unless it is to your clear advantage.
Tip#2: Bring All Important Evidences Especially Medical Bills
In personal injury lawsuits, evidence is everything. Needless to say, without any proof, you are likely to lose your case. You should therefore be ready with all the relevant documentation that you believe will help you with your claim, particularly the medical bills since this is where the bulk of expenses are likely to go. This can include the following:
- Medical receipts
- Hospital statement of accounts and billings
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Petrol expenses in traveling to and from the hospital
- Copies of medical tests
- Other on-going treatments depending on the extent of injury
Tip#3: Plan your Wardrobe
Other people may not find it important but planning what you will wear for court is important. It will not only provide you with an image that may have some subconscious positive effect on the judge or the jury but also give you a feeling of confidence and calm.
The proper attire for the occasion can help you command respect and encourage others to show a professional attitude towards you.
Tip#4: Hire an Attorney
The best advice if you need to go to court for a personal injury claim is to hire an attorney to oversee the proceeding. No matter how simple or clear-cut the case may be, an attorney will ensure the proper handling and preparation of everything that is needed in the case and increase the odds of winning the claim.