The best personal injury attorneys know how to prepare their clients for court.
The best personal injury attorneys understand that the courtroom is very unpredictable. They also understand that judges and juries make their decision not on truth, but the perception of truth. Therefore, individuals who see themselves in court in the future should keep the following ideas in mind.
If It’s About the Money, Stay Out of Court
Except in rare instances, taking a lawsuit all the way to trial is a bad way to make money. Because of its unpredictability, even the slam dunk case can lose. And even if you win, there can be an appeal which drags a case on for another few years.
In many cases, you can come out ahead by staying out of court. Perhaps you will agree to settle a case for a smaller amount of money than if you went to court and won. But you have to factor in the fact that you could lose at trial or have to survive an appeal after you win at trial. There are also significant legal fees you will be responsible for the longer the case goes on.
The Jury and Judge See Everything
The moment you walk into the courtroom, the judge (if he or she is meeting you for the first time), will size you up. The judge already has an idea of who you are and what you’re about, but the judge will compare his or her idea of you with how you look, the way you act with your attorney and how you respond to things at trial, such as your opponent’s testimony. In borderline trial decisions, how the judge views you can occasionally decide how an in-trial ruling (such as deciding an objection) should go.
The jury isn’t much different and if both sides have good attorneys, the jury will have trouble figuring out which side they think should win. So juries will look at the parties in the lawsuit for clues as to how they should decide the case. If a juror thinks you dress in a bad way or doesn’t like how you react to a certain witness, that could be enough to decide they don’t want you to win.
If It’s About Justice, Get Ready for Court
In the small number of cases where the plaintiff bringing the personal injury lawsuit doesn’t care about money and only wants justice served, then a trial is very likely. If this applies to you, keep in mind a few things.
First, it may be difficult to find a lawyer who will be willing to take a case on to the bitter end like this. And if you find one, prepare to pay a lot of money each month in legal bills. It’s hard to find an attorney to litigate this type of case on a contingency fee basis.
Second, be careful in letting the other side know that you’re out for justice and money means nothing to you. In the wise words of Sun Tzu (who wrote The Art of War), “When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press too hard.” If you do not follow this guideline, the other side will fight you harder because they know they have nothing to lose.
Click to learn more about the best personal injury attorneys by contacting our team at the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online.