Personal Injury Trials—Credibility Matters

Personal injury attorney handshake

People who seek damages from a personal injury claim have the right to file a lawsuit and take their case to trial. Along the way, there are many opportunities for all of the parties to settle their claims to avoid trial. While it is relatively rare for a personal injury claim to reach trial, it is essential to be prepared for the possibility.

Your credibility matters a great deal in a personal injury trial. It can make or break your ability to recover. Why? Because personal injury juries have a great deal of latitude to determine whether witnesses are credible and to make decisions based on those beliefs. If a jury hears two conflicting versions of events from witnesses on the stand, the jury members can choose which version to believe. So if you are on the wrong side of that decision, it can jeopardize or end your ability to recover the damages that you so desperately need.

First, it should go without saying that from the time of your injury until trial, you need to be accurate and honest in describing the events leading to your injury as well as the impacts of the injury. This needs to be consistent across the board from bystanders, to police, to doctors, to therapists, to your lawyer, and the jury. If a jury perceives inconsistencies, gaps, or discrepancies in your story, then the jury may decide that events did not occur the way you claim or that you are not as injured as you claim.

Second, be open with your attorney and let your attorneys do their job at trial. Your attorney must enter trial fully prepared to advocate for you. Be sure to follow your attorney’s advice and do not stray from that guidance—especially at trial. If your attorney is caught off guard by something that you say at trial or something you have said in the past, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice.

Finally, preparation for trial will help you. Be sure to speak with your attorney before trial to prepare. Listen closely to your attorney’s advice and before trial, carefully review all records and notes that will help you refresh your recollection.

Personal Injury Attorneys: Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a premier personal injury firm that pursues maximum compensation for our clients. Our attorneys have over a century of combined legal experience, and have successfully resolved countless personal injury claims for our clients, recovering millions of dollars in damages. If you want smart, responsive representation, call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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