Not every victim will testify in an accident case, but a good lawyer will help prepare you to take the stand if you are pursuing a personal injury case. At Bressman Law we want you to understand that you may have to testify if you sue, but we can help prepare you.
Preparing to Testify in an Accident Case
Part of the process of bringing a personal injury lawsuit against another individual for negligence is to provide testimony. In the American judicial system, parties to a legal action are permitted to question the accounts of opposing litigants when they take the stand in a personal injury case in order to determine which party is more rightfully responsible for the damages incurred. Essentially, this means that you are accusing another individual of negligence and you may be required to testify if you sue.
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In a civil litigation action, it is always the responsibility of the plaintiff to provide the courts with the burden of proof to corroborate liability claims against the defendant. This process is where you testify in an accident case to provide the information you have to the best of your knowledge.
Whether you were involved in an auto accident or you are making a claim against a homeowner on a dangerous premises charge, when you take the stand in a personal injury case your testimony will be the key component upon which the case will be based. As a result, it will be you, the plaintiff, who will be required to testify if you sue and provide the court with proof that solidly places liability upon the defendant.
Depositions in an Accident Claim
Depositions - or recorded statements - are taken at the onset of a personal injury action. They can be used to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s attorney and insurance company before the case is taken before the courts. However, if pretrial negotiations fail to achieve a fair settlement, you will need to bring the matter before a judge and take the stand. In a personal injury case it is wise to be aware that, at this point, your deposition testimony will be used during the court proceedings to corroborate the statements that you make while on the stand.
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This method of comparing deposition and on-stand statements is utilized to ensure testimonial consistency - and to foil the ambitions of frivolous or dishonest complainants. It’s easy to get nervous when you testify in an accident case, which is why you’ll want to work with your attorney beforehand to become comfortable with the process in the event you have to testify if you sue.
Proving Your Case with Evidence
As the plaintiff, it is your obligation to provide testimony to establish the burden of proof, which is determined -by a preponderance of the evidence.- In civil matters, the judge and jury need only be convinced that the defendant was, by all logical conclusions, connected to the civil wrongdoing, in order to find them liable for the damages claimed. It does not mean that the defendant will be made to face any criminal penalties, though, because a civil matter is not the same as a criminal action:
- Civil infractions are torts - or wrongdoings - against individuals.
- Criminal infractions are wrongdoings against the state and local governments.
The American judicial system was established to provide a fair and equal playing field for plaintiffs and defendants alike. A complainant cannot simply take issue with a neighbor, business or co-worker and demand compensation from the courts without justifying the award with proper evidence.
An Attorney Can Help Prepare You to Testify in an Accident Case
If you are considering a personal injury claim, contact an attorney who can help you prepare your case. To schedule a free no-obligation consultation, call (614) 538-1116. We represent clients in Columbus, Ohio and throughout the State of Ohio. Discuss the possibility of testifying in an accident case with your lawyer.