Will I Have to Testify in Court for My Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
As with any legal claim, you might have to testify in court for your slip and fall lawsuit. The good news is that many slip and fall lawsuits are settled before trial. Even if your case does not settle, testifying at trial is a straightforward process that you can prepare for ahead of time.
Preparation is a key part of testifying. Understanding what is expected of you and what might be asked will help you prepare for the day your trial occurs. Your Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can walk you through the trial process and help you prepare through the use of practice questions. With the right legal counsel aiding you, it is possible to take the witness stand at your trial with confidence.
Why testifying is necessary
Your testimony will be a critical part of your case. Without it, the chances of success at trial are low. After all, only you can give the jury that hears your case a clear picture of your injuries. You are the best possible source of information on how your injuries have impacted your life. From discussing your pain and suffering to explaining how your injuries have altered your personal relationships, you have the key insight into the severity of your injuries.
Your testimony may also be the only way to establish the cause of your fall. If your injury occurred without witnesses nearby, your slip & fall attorneys might have to rely solely on your testimony to establish what happened. You will also be in the best position to counter the excuses given by the defendant.
What to expect when testifying at trial
Since you are a party to the lawsuit, you will be seated at a table in the courtroom throughout the trial. Your attorney will keep you updated on the status of the case and advise you when it is your turn to testify. Once the attorneys have picked the jury and made their opening statement, the chances are strong you will testify first.
In most courts, you will be asked to take the witness stand located next to where the judge is sitting. You will then be sworn in, meaning you promise to tell the truth in your testimony under the penalty of perjury.
At this point, your attorney will begin to question you. More than likely, your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will have walked you through each of these questions ahead of time. Your attorney will ask you about how your injury occurred and go into detail about your injuries. This could include asking you to describe your recovery process or show the jury pictures of your wounds.
Once your attorney is finished, the defendant’s attorney has the right to ask you questions. This process is known as cross-examination. The other attorney will often attempt to trip you up regarding your previous testimony. In other cases, the attorney could imply that you are lying about your injuries or the nature of the fall accident. Your attorney has the right to object to questions that are out of line.
In some cases, your attorney could call you to testify again later in the trial. This is only common when needed to rebut something another witness said that you had not previously discussed. If you are called for rebuttal, the other attorney has the right to cross-examine you again.
Your attorney can help you prepare to testify
Preparing to testify is not the only way your attorney could help you during the litigation process. Your attorney can investigate your claim, enter into settlement negotiations, and file a lawsuit on your behalf. In many cases, your attorney could reach a settlement long before trial.
The team at Ellis Injury Law never backs down from the prospect of a trial. If your trial goes forward, we will work tirelessly to ensure you are prepared for every question that will be asked. Schedule your free consultation with Ellis Injury Law to discuss a slip and fall claim today.