Personal Injury Court: How To Prepare
Preparation for a court hearing or trial on a personal injury does not start the day before the appearance. It begins well before, during the initial days of deciding whether a personal injury claim will be made in the first place. This discussion occurs during the initial consultation one has with a personal injury attorney or when a victim of an injury decides to pursue a legal recovery in general.
The Importance of Preparation for Personal Injury Court
Personal injury cases much of the time, the mistakes that sink a personal injury case are not the facts but rather how the case was put together, how it was filed and pursued, how settlement discussion occurred, and what critical decisions were made on how to move forward at each step. By the time a case reaches court, if it does, a good amount of the framework of a personal injury case has already happened. That means, without the expertise of a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney involved, there is a lot of room for mistakes as well.
The Value of a Personal Injury Lawyer Miami Strategy
The problems start with insurance claims review processes, a typical first step in many personal injury recovery cases, as the responsible party tends to have coverage for injuries. The claims adjuster has the fundamental role of finding ways to reduce the value of the claim, saving money as a result. Without a solid legal argument, most settlement offers to close a claim tend to be far less than what should be paid. A personal injury attorney can prevent this result, but too often, victims without representation take what seems like immediate cash in hand and sell their claim short.
If pushing further, a claim will then enter what is referred to as the settlement phase. The responsible party or claim coverage provider will seek to settle the claim for less than what a full recovery might be. An experienced personal injury attorney can argue effectively on multiple points that will otherwise become part of a lawsuit, but without knowing these arguments, a victim on their own will miss or give up valuable leverage with a settlement agreed on too early.
By this point, a decision has to be made to file a lawsuit or not. Again, there is no automatic guarantee a case will succeed, but moving to a lawsuit filing clearly indicates to the defendant that the matter is serious and the victim is not backing off. However, because of the technical nature of the complaint process and subsequent evidence collection movements known as discovery, cases can be hamstrung or go sideways without knowing how to collect evidence and when to push for a trial date. Evidence in personal injury typically includes interviews, known as depositions, and evidence gathering, which can include:
- Medical Records
- Notes (written by people involved)
- Police Reports
- Phone Records
- Emails and Texts
- Rehabilitation Records
- Medical Costs
- Doctors Reports
- Insurance Coverage Assessments
Keep in mind at any time; the defendant may reach out and try to seek a settlement again. A victim’s attorney who knows how the process works well will do the same. A favorable settlement is always a better path than taking a chance with a full trial. That said, in some cases, the defendant simply does not want to cooperate, or the settlement cost seems too high, so they stonewall a court trial. A settlement might still happen as a last-ditch effort before the trial day, so be prepared to entertain an offer right before a trial starts to avoid that risk as well.
The Trial Itself
Once the trial has begun, various hearings and motions have already happened to narrow the evidence and testimony that will be heard. In the trial itself, you, as the victim, will also be required to testify. Again, having a personal injury lawyer Miami resource makes a world of difference, as they can help with testimony preparation and practice questions of what will likely be asked. The preparation also helps with knowing what to expect on the testimony stand so nervousness does not cause you to make a mistake in the statements provided.
Ironically, most of the trial, aside from your own testimony and cross-examination, will be watching the jury selection, listening to the arguments made to the jury, technical arguments made to the judge, presenting of both cases, and then finally, the judge’s instructions to the jury how to proceed to a decision. And then, everyone waits for a verdict.
Finding the Right Attorney for a Miami Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you are sure you have the basis for a Florida injury lawsuit, then one of the best moves you can make is to reach out to Zagury Scott, P.A. As a Miami personal injury attorney, Natalie Zagury has been actively involved in cases from the initial consultation to final litigation and verdict in multiple cases and injury types. Her representation comes with knowing how to navigate the court system, the settlement process, and the trial itself. Call us today for a consultation to learn more about how we can help.