Will I Have To Testify At My Personal Injury Trial?
There are many considerations that are taken into account when considering if an accident or injury should be pursued through a personal injury lawsuit. One of the leading factors that many injured parties overweigh when deciding to pursue a claim is the prospect of testifying at court. However, though testifying in court is a reality of personal injury cases, there are many alternatives and conditions that may nullify the need to testify or make the testimonial process easier.
Pre-Trial Alternatives to Courtroom Testimony
Most cases never reach the inside of a courtroom, because of the negotiation and settlement processes. One of the pretrial stages is the discovery process in which a formal investigation is conducted.1 the discovery process normally includes subpoenas for documents, interrogatories which are form of written questions, and depositions. A deposition is similar to a courtroom testimony because it involves the taking of an oral statement, under oath, and is made by a living witness or involved party.2 The setting of a deposition is significantly less formal or intimidating, because it is more private in design, usually occurring in an attorney’s office and involving significantly less people usually the attorneys, all parties to the case, and a court reporter.3 The structure of a deposition is usually pretty straight forward since it is designed a question and answer format focused on fact determinations.
How to Make the Testimony Process Easier?
Though the courtroom testimony process can appear intimidating, there are steps that can be taken to make it easier to combat the hurdle in order to continue with a claim for compensation. Testimony is needed in order to give an account of events based on a person’s knowledge, but in order to make this testimony beneficial, it is essential to be prepared for the courtroom process by consulting with your attorney. First, it is important to refresh your memory by gently picturing the scene, any objects or people who are there, and the course of events which occurred.4 Second, it is important to speak based upon your own recollections and in your own words, which requires not memorizing a testimony or trying to fluff your testimony in order to make it more convincing.5 Any testimony is based on providing oral statements, but there are factors, beyond the physical words themselves, which affect the strength of your testimony. Due to these factors it is important to have a proper appearance such as neat and proper dressing that will not distract the jury from your spoken word and the words need to be presented in a clear, slow, and sufficiently loud enough manner absent of distracting mannerisms.6 Following these preparation tips will allow testimony to be considerably smoother in the event that a case proceeds through trial.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been involved in an accident or in some way injured, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights by determining if pursuing a personal injury case is in your best interest. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.
I represent individuals in Missouri and Illinois in all types of personal injury cases. In my short time here I have obtained a judgment for $2.5 million and settled a large class action lawsuit for a confidential amount.
I love the city of St. Louis and support it and give back whenever I can. Recently I was appointed by Mayor Francis Slay to serve on the Advisory Board for the Gateway Mall.
I am married to my lovely wife Lauren and we have two beautiful daughters, Mia and Bridget.