A motor vehicle collision occurs. You are hit by a negligent driver. You are injured. You receive medical care. You retain a lawyer for legal advice and representation. However, there is a question: Should you hire a trial lawyer?
The answer is yes!
Believe it or not, not all lawyers go to court. Believe it or not, not all lawyers go to trial.
For you, as the injured victim, there may be nothing wrong with that. An insurance claim can be made by competent counsel and it is possible you could receive a fair and reasonable settlement offer to compensate you for your property damage, your wage loss claim, your medical expenses, as well as additional money for inconveniences caused by the negligent party.
But it is also likely that you may be given a low offer you find unacceptable. You may be faced with a response that you are at fault for causing the automobile collision. You then face a decision whether or not to file a lawsuit and prepare for trial.
You should question if the lawyer you’re hired is prepared to do this. You should ask if your lawyer is a trial lawyer.
A trial lawyer begins preparing your case for trial the moment he or she starts working your case. A trial lawyer reviews the facts of your case and begins preserving evidence such as property damage, witness testimony, photographs of the scene of the collision and of your personal injuries, and your medical records and billings, from the very start as if you were actually going to trial.
Why? This is because a trial lawyer knows from the very moment you are retained that you, as the injured victim, have the burden of proving in civil court that the Defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused your injuries.
A trial lawyer that has actually taken cases before a judge and jury is best suited and trained to know how build your case from the start for this purpose. A trial lawyer knows that preparing your case for trial from the beginning is the best way to actually avoid ever going to trial.
In the pre-litigation stage of your case, when you are still treating for your injuries, a trial lawyer best knows how to help you communicate with your medical care providers so that you provide your doctors with a complete and accurate medical history.
Honesty at this stage is the best policy. Even an innocent omission of a prior traumatic injury to your doctors could be harmful, if not disastrous, to your case.
For example, if you fail to tell your doctors about the time you hurt your neck or back from falling down a flight of stairs, or how you broke your leg or arm in a prior car accident, all because these injuries happened many years ago, a trial lawyer knows that an insurance defense attorney representing the Defendant will use this to say you were being dishonest and lying to help your new car accident case.
A lawyer who is not experienced in this preparation will be less likely to help you avoid this problem. A trial lawyer will also be able to help you understand the meaning of the liability insurance available from the person who injured you.
In the litigation stage of your case the trial lawyer can prepare for the many events that occur with the defendant’s attorney prior to trial. If your case proceeds to litigation you will be required to be involved in the discovery process which would likely include you:
- having to answer many detailed written questions from the defendant’s attorney
- having to attend an in-person meeting with the defense attorney, known as a deposition, where the lawyer asks you many detailed questions about your past, the actual accident, your injuries, your medical care, and the negative impact the accident has made on your life.
You may also be required to attend a medical exam where the defense attorney schedules a meeting for you to be interviewed and examined by a medical expert hired by the defense.
A trial lawyer who is experienced in these matters can best prepare you for all of these very stressful events.
All of the above applies even more so if and when your case proceeds to trial.
The defense lawyer will try to harm your credibility by introducing evidence at trial that may or may not be relevant. A trial lawyer is experienced on how to limit or even keep harmful evidence out of the Courtroom.
An experienced trial lawyer will also know how to select a jury and present your case in the best possible manner.
Best of all, during all of the times listed above, a trial lawyer will know to advise you when is the best time to settle your case, whether or not a settlement offer is reasonable, and whether it is worth risking your time, effort, and money, to continue prosecuting your case.
You owe it to yourself to retain a trial attorney.
Call Attorney Victor Cardoza for a free consultation after after an accident at (702) 384-2495 or send an email to him at email@example.com.