When you find yourself involved in a personal injury lawsuit you’re going to be fielding questions about the entire process. Personal injury lawsuits are hardly common events and most people outside of the legal profession only know them from daytime TV. However, there is a set structure and order to every lawsuit that you can simplify for your clients. What follows is a brief synopsis of one aspect, the trial itself.
Let Them Know The Timeline Can Change
Most clients aren’t aware of the fact a trial date isn’t a set in stone thing. Let them know ahead of time that outside events can affect a trial’s date. Make it simple and note that common events can cause delays. Things such as witnesses running late, likewise jurors, and in some cases even acquiring a courtroom to hold a trial at in the first place can cause a delay. By being aware that ‘things happen’ it can keep a client relaxed if things don’t go off 100 percent as planned. Just make them aware that, like all things, trial start times are not perfect.
The Process Can Be Slow Going
Even while in court not everything is arguing in front of the jury. Make the client aware that while the court appearance may only take a day all that other stuff can eat up a great deal more time. Give them a synopsis of what’s going on. Just by knowing about things such as meetings with the judge, briefings, motions, etc. the client becomes a whole lot more patient about the trial proceedings.
Juries Can’t Hear About Money
Make sure your client understands that in civil trials juries can’t hear about monetary figures. So nothing about settlements, non-binding arbitration, and the like. Also no mentioning the defendant’s insurance policy.
Keep Your Head Down
Lastly explain to your client that they can’t talk to witnesses or jury members even when the court is not in session. A simple rundown of basic court dress code and acceptable behavior can do your client a world of good.
As you know a trial is no small thing and the scope of the entire process is beyond what can be put into one article. But just by knowing how to explain the basics to you client you can help prepare them for what’s to come and start the lawyer client relationship off on the right foot.