How to Prepare for Your Personal Injury Trial in the State of Georgia
Facing a trial in a personal injury case can be a frightening thing. Sleepless nights, loss of appetite, grinding teeth and other anxious behaviors are not uncommon. But with a little preparation you will feel much more in control. Many of your concerns can easily be put to rest with a little knowledge about how the system works. Let the lawyers from Bader Law Firm, LLC walk you through some trial basics.
Fear is a Result of the Unknown
The more you know about the courthouse, the calmer you will feel. Make sure you know where the courthouse is. Try to visit the courthouse before the first day of trial. Drive at the time you will be driving there on that first day of trial, or, if you are taking public transportation, plan a similar “test run.”
Find out where the parking is located. Not all courthouses have parking on site, so you may need to find a private parking lot or ramp. Have a backup plan for parking in case the lot you have identified is full.
Park your car and locate the door or doors to the courthouse. Find the wheelchair accessible entrance if you or a companion are disabled. If it is open, go into the courthouse and take a look at a courtroom.
Find the bathrooms, drinking fountains, vending machines, cafeteria and anything else you need access to. If you are a smoker, find the nearest smoking areas. If you drink coffee, see if there is a coffee shop in or near the courthouse. If not, consider whether you can bring coffee from home. Due to security concerns, you may or may not be allowed to bring a beverage into the courthouse. Even if you can bring a beverage into the courthouse, you should still check with your lawyer to make sure you can bring your coffee into the courtroom. You may also want to take the time to identify a place close by where you can purchase lunch. You may have an hour or more for lunch, or the court may limit your lunchtime to 30 minutes. Consequently, it’s important to find a quick lunch place.
Meet With Your Lawyer
Even if you have met with your lawyer previously, he or she will want to meet with you for trial preparation. It does take time, but you will be glad you did. You may also want to meet with your lawyer on the day before you testify for last minute preparation. Make sure you are familiar with all of the evidence your lawyer will be admitting through you. Also review your testimony from any depositions you have previously provided. The opposing lawyer will have copies of your depositions and will cross examine you with them if you testify inconsistent with your depositions.
While meeting with your lawyer, practice testifying. Testifying is not something that comes naturally to most people. Have your attorney go through practice direct examination questions. Remember to listen to the question and answer what is asked. Don’t be afraid to have a question repeated if you don’t hear, understand, or remember all or part of a question. When your lawyer asks you an open-ended question, answer it completely. Do not ramble or go off topic, but do not be afraid to fully answer the question.
Ask your attorney, or better yet, another lawyer in the office, to conduct a practice cross examination. This is when the lawyer pretends to be the lawyer for the other side. Cross examination will be the least comfortable experience of the entire process. Again, make sure you hear and understand the question before you answer it. Try to answer with one word answers or if called for, a number. Do not give in to the desire to say, “Yes, but…” or “No but…” Every witness will have this experience. Your lawyer will always have a chance to ask a follow up question if necessary. Your lawyer may not agree with you on the importance of an issue. The classic example is the question, “Do you know what time it is?” In polite conversation the answer is “Yes, it is 4:30.” When you are being cross examined the answer is “Yes” or “No.” Ask your attorney for any other helpful tips for testifying. Different attorneys use different techniques and you want to be in synch with your attorney.
Review any Notes of Your Own
If you have kept a personal injury journal, review and familiarize yourself with its contents. Here in the state of Georgia, it will probably be a significant amount time between the cause of the injury and the time of trial. In reviewing your journal, you will be amazed at what you had forgotten. Even if you didn’t keep a personal injury journal, review any other notes you may have made. This review will refresh your recollection of facts long forgotten.
Have You Suffered a Personal Injury in the State of Georgia?
If you’ve suffered a personal injury in the state of Georgia, you need a seasoned, knowledgeable personal injury attorney to assist you in your case. This is not the time to be representing yourself. The other side will have quality attorneys on their side. The right attorney will make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. Your personal injury case must be fully and carefully evaluated.
A lack of communication from the lawyer is a common client complaint. We are proud of our communication here at Bader Law Firm, LLC. Even before you hire us, we will discuss your case with you. We will answer your questions at no charge. If you hire Bader Law Firm, you can always contact us regarding the status of your case. Unless we win your case, there will be no charge to you. If you have been injured in the state of Georgia, please contact the Bader Law Firm, LLC. We want to start the fight for you today.