Tips for Testifying in a Personal Injury Case

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: How does the law of contributory negligence play a role in my case?


It can be nerve-wracking to testify in open court. Even individuals with no issues or anxiety about public speaking can find themselves stressed about testifying in their personal injury case. In an ideal situation, everything could be handled by your personal injury attorney and you would have to say little or nothing at all during the process. Unfortunately this is not always the case and it is not surprising that a court would want to hear from the individual at the center of the case. You will know if you are expected to testify ahead of time and there are things you can keep in mind should you find yourself testifying during a personal injury case.




The biggest piece of advice is to prepare. You and your attorney can spend time going over the questions they will ask, what opposing counsel might ask, and you can practice what your answers to those questions might be. Of course, there is no way to predict what other people might ask you, but an experienced attorney will likely have good insight as to the types of questions that usually arise in a personal injury suit. Know the facts of your case and be prepared to answer.


No Guessing


It is essential to always be truthful in testimony. If you are asked a question and you do not know the answer to it, do not guess. Only answer questions for which you are certain of the answers. Guessing the answer to a question can be misleading and present something as a fact when it actually is not. Even if opposing counsel pressures you to answer, stand firm in your assertion that you do not know the answer to the questions.


Answer Only the Questions Asked


This may sound simple, but only answer the question that is asked. Listen to the question being asked of you and respond to that. Some people fall into the trap of elaborating on something they never meant to and about which they were never asked. It is up to others to come up with the questions to ask you; you do not have to make their job easier by presenting extra information.




Finally, take a deep breath and relax. No one is going to be judging you for your public speaking skills. Instead, everyone is listening to facts you are presenting. Some individuals are afraid to say the wrong thing in fear that they will mess up the case. Just relax and remember that your attorney is there on your side and will know what to do if something goes awry. Try to remain calm and remember that it will be over soon.


The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are ready to help you with your personal injury claim. Our attorneys will help you overcome any anxiety you have over testifying and put the time and effort in to make sure you are prepared. Contact us today for a consultation, now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe, call us at 704-370-2828.






The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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