August 15, 2014

Five Things You Need to Know About Preparing for Trial in a NY Personal Injury Case

By Jonathan Damashek

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If you were injured in an accident in New York City, you can seek compensation from the liable party’s insurance company. However, if they’re not offering you a proper settlement or they’re trying to deny your claim, you might need to take them to court.

Court isn’t as glamorous as TV makes it out to be. There are many important things to remember when you take a personal injury claim to court with the help of a personal injury attorney.

Five Things to Remember About an Injury Lawsuit

Litigation is a Long Process

From the start of your claim to your day in court, you should expect a lengthy process. Once you file a claim, the bureaucracy will take over. There are many steps in the litigation process, so your case won’t be heard right away. Your attorney will need to gather evidence, like medical records and witness testimony, as well as tend to different steps before you appear before a judge.

The litigation process can include discovery, depositions, mediations, negotiations, motions, and other court filings that must be taken care of before a trial can happen. Hecht, Kleeger, and Damashek, P.C., prepares every case like it is going to trial. Our thorough preparation allows us to negotiate for our clients from a strong position.

You Should Be Ready to Testify

You are one of the most important witnesses in your personal injury case. Your testimony is crucial to convincing a jury that you suffered because of the defendant’s negligence. You’re going to be telling the story of your claim, so you’ll need to give accurate and truthful responses. If we ask you to take the stand to portray your side of the story, you can expect the defendant’s attorneys will also question you.

We’ll be able to prepare you for your testimony, so that you can describe how you were injured and how those damages have affected your way of life. We’ll be there every step of the way so that you can practice before you take the stand.

You’ll Be Asked Personal Information

As the plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you might feel exposed by the defense team. They’re going to find out a lot of your personal information. Through their own research and the discovery process, the defense will uncover a lot about you, even things you might not want them to know. They’re going to find out who you are, where you work, your income, your medical history, and more.

You should understand that this personal information is acceptable to share if you’re seeking a personal injury claim. It might not feel fair, but the defendant is trying to get off of the hook of owing you damages. You might feel like you have to lie or obscure the truth, but that can actually hurt your claim. You should answer all their questions and requests truthfully, or they can use those lies to hurt your claim. HKD will be doing the same to the defense: the information highway is a two-way street. We’ll protect your interests.

Trials can be Unpredictable.

As your attorneys, we carefully prepare your case and get your story ready for trial. We are aggressive advocates for your interests. However, there can be issues that we could not prepare for in the trial. Aspects of your trial could be unpredictable. For instance, there could be a judge who isn’t sympathetic to your case. Jurors hearing your story may not agree with our arguments because of their personal thinking or problem-solving. Lawyers on both sides will argue legal positions and make objections that could disrupt a case.

Because we can’t predict the outcome of every trial, some cases are better off settled before a trial starts or while it’s ongoing. We can prepare as much as possible to eliminate most surprises, but if we think a settlement is your best option to recover compensation, we’ll explain your options. HKD is ready to advise you on settlement offers.

A Disappointing Verdict is Possible

As confident as lawyers like to be, you should be wary of any attorneys who guarantee you a win every time. A New York jury is going to make a decision based on the evidence presented at trial. They could find the defendant isn’t liable to pay you any compensation for your losses. The jury could find that the defendant is partially at fault but won’t agree with your settlement demand.

These outcomes can be unpredictable, but finding a personal injury attorney who strengthens your odds at a favorable settlement is your best chance at getting compensation after an injury accident. You should find a lawyer who is honest about your prospects, with the record to back up their claims.

Work with a Personal Injury Lawyer to Tell Your Story

Not every personal injury case will go to trial. But you should work with an attorney to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible with the compelling evidence you need to convince a jury of your story. An accident can have lifelong repercussions, and if someone else caused your injuries, you deserve to get compensation to recover.

HKD is ready to hear your story and help you get everything prepared. We have helped countless clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars. Let us help you get your story ready. Call (212) 490-5700 or use our online form now.