Do I need to go to court?
In California, you can file a lawsuit against any party that has led you to suffer injuries, and damages. You could recover compensation against the party responsible for causing the accident you were involved in. But, one of the most common questions that our experienced attorneys receive is: will I need to go to court if I file a lawsuit? With covid-19, there were several precautions that the courtrooms in California started to take to prevent the spread of COVID, which included virtual appearances.
Fortunately, you may not necessarily need to go to court after you file a lawsuit. Sometimes, lawsuits are settled prior to going to court. A settlement is an agreement between both parties on a compensation amount that the plaintiff accepts. Settlement negotiations could take course throughout a couple days, even weeks. After a lawsuit is filed, both parties will then start to gather evidence and information to piece together the accident and each party’s legal responsibility. Once each party’s legal responsibility is determined, both parties will then be able to go into negotiations to see if they could agree upon a settlement amount to prevent going to trial.
If both parties do agree on a settlement amount, then the case will likely not go to trial. This means that you will also not need to go to trial to testify.
What happens after I hire an attorney?
When you hire a car accident attorney, an attorney will work to make sure that you have a strong case. Your attorney will:
- File a lawsuit on your behalf in the proper court. Keep in mind that there are specific forms and requirements that you must have to meet when filing a lawsuit. An experienced attorney will make sure that they stay on top of all the necessary forms and get your lawsuit on file with the Court.
- Subpoena the other party that is being sued. The other party must have notice of the lawsuit, and should be served with a subpoena. This is something that your attorney should handle and take care of.
- Start to gather evidence about the accident. There are several different types of evidence that could piece together how the accident occurred, such as photos, witness statements, and medical records. There are other types of evidence that could also be helpful and depend on your specific circumstances.
- Negotiate with the other party on a settlement amount. Both parties may not want to go to trial simply because it is too costly. Going to trial will require thousands of dollars in filing fees, along with expert fees in order for experts to testify in court.
Sometimes, many people may want to represent themselves in a lawsuit, and choose not to hire an attorney. We strongly warn against this just because of the different legal hurdles that you may have to jump through on your own. Not everyone is knowledgeable about the different legal requirements you must have to meet. Not meeting just one requirement could have your entire case thrown out by the court. Although a lawyer is not necessary, it is very helpful when filing a lawsuit.
What should I do in court?
If you do end up going to court in order to testify for your trial, there are some steps you can follow to make sure you are presentable and get the respect of the judge. A good thing to keep in mind is every move you make and everything you wear will be looked at by every single jury member. Failing to wear proper clothing could make you lose your entire case.
- Make sure that you wear appropriate clothing. This means that you refrain from wearing any shorts or flip-flops. This could look especially disrespectful to jury members who may be watching your every move to determine if you are responsible for your own injuries.
- Make sure that you get to court on time. Trials usually start on the exact time they are scheduled for, especially because there may be several trials booked back-to-back.
- Respect the judge. Refrain from cursing and calling the judge any disrespectful names. Usually, we recommend that those in court refer to the judge as “your honor.”
- Always make sure that your facial expressions and demeanor is peaceful and pleasant. Walking in with an aggressive demeanor does not work well with jury members.
- Do not be nervous. When you look nervous, it could look bad not only for your attorney, but for the jury members when they’re trying to determine your credibility.
- Make sure you stand still, and refrain from constantly moving. We know how stressful it can be to come before a judge, but any wrong movements could potentially make you look bad in front of the judge.
Speak slowly and clearly to make sure that the jury understands how you’re responding to any questions that the attorney or judge asks you
What should I wear in court?
All clothes you wear should be presentable, and appropriate. The style of clothing you choose, along with the pieces that you choose to wear, could have the least impact on your case. You should refrain from wearing:
- Designer purses
- Nose rings
- Neon colors
- Tank tops
What is the best color to wear to court?
- Although this may seem like a repetitive answer, everything you wear is exceptionally significant, especially in front of jury members. We recommend that you wear basic colors, and refrain from wearing neon colors.
- Stay away from extra patterns and accessories. The best color you can wear to court is black, navy blue, or dark gray. These colors are simple colors and do not have any type of negative connotation when looked at by a jury member. Further, these colors could be a bit dull and boring, and would not distract the jury members.
Call Our Attorneys Today To Schedule A Free Consultation
Make sure that you have a highly qualified trial attorney on your side. In the event that you do need to go to court, make sure that you hire highly qualified lawyers. It takes experience and dedication to be a top rated trial attorney. Our car accident attorneys have decades of experience and have represented several clients in trials. We know exactly how to maneuver through the court process, and worked tirelessly to make sure that our clients get the legal help they deserve. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.
In the event that you do need to go to court, our attorneys will prepare you for trial, especially because everything you do in court is important and will help you with your case.Our attorneys work with a contingency fee arrangement. A contingency fee arrangement means that we do not get any compensation from our clients up front. We only collect a percentage of the compensation we recover in favor of our clients. Other attorneys work hourly, and may require their clients to pay them up front for their services. We do not get any compensation from our clients upfront, because we understand that after an accident, your financial situation may not be the best. Give us a call today to discuss your case.