Not all St. Louis car accident claims end in a settlement. In some cases, matters have to be taken to court.
Most car accidents in Missouri don’t actually end up in court. Because the state has mandatory auto insurance, it’s much more likely (and encouraged) to deal with these matters through an insurance claims process where both parties can negotiate a settlement everyone is happy with.
However, not all car accident claims end this way. In some cases, matters have to be taken to court, in which case you have to face a different process entirely. Here’s how you can prepare for your car accident lawsuit.
1. Hire a Lawyer
If you haven’t spoken with a lawyer for your car accident claim, it is a good idea to do so as soon as possible. Even if you technically have the right to represent yourself, this time it’s not just an insurance adjuster you have to argue in front of – it’s also a judge.
Trials are a lot different than insurance claims, and there is a lot of red tape to go through. One of the best ways to ensure a judge sides with you and awards a fair settlement is to work with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer.
2. Refresh Your Memory
At one point during the trial, you are likely going to have to testify. You will be asked a series of questions both by your lawyer (if you are represented) and the lawyer from the insurance company. It’s a good idea to refresh your memory regarding the facts of the case to be able to answer all the questions accurately.
Consider looking through everything you’ve gathered from your claim, such as your medical records, photos of the accident, witness testimonies, etc. Try to also focus on the invisible side of your situations, such as the emotional or mental tolls the car accident has taken on you.
3. Relax and Remain Calm
It’s very important to keep your composure while in court, and not just when you’re taking the stand to testify. You may not exactly like what the other side is saying in their argument, but it’s essential not to speak out of line and disrupt them. Lawyers have specific ways to intervene and object to an argument, but the judge ultimately decides if they can continue or not.
Additionally, stress or anxiety can even affect your testimony, as you may forget essential details or become overwhelmed when the other side pushes too much. A lawyer will try to intervene as much as they can, but for the most part, it is up to you to ensure you remain calm during the trial.
Speak With an Experienced St. Louis Auto Injury Lawyer
If you’re ready to go to trial and get compensated for your car accident injuries, you should absolutely consider speaking to a St. Louis car injury lawyer if you have not already done so. In a trial, the judge’s decision is final, so you want to make sure you have the right legal representation to make a strong case.
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