If you’re badly hurt in a car crash, one of the things you’ll talk about with your attorney is the potential for filing a personal injury claim. Most people do file and avoid court by accepting a settlement from the other party’s insurance company. If that company doesn’t offer enough compensation, though, you may decide that you want to pursue a lawsuit to get the maximum payout you’re allowed.
Some patients work hard to avoid this, because they’re concerned about going to court. You may not want to be seen in public with a significant injury or may feel that you’re too tired or in too much pain to be of help with the case. This is reasonable, and it’s something your attorney can talk to you about.
Thankfully, there are usually alternatives if you’re not comfortable with appearing in court.
What should you do if you don’t want to appear in court?
In most cases, your attorney will talk to you about the benefits of appearing in court, such as showing the jury the extensive nature of your injuries or giving a personal statement about the damage that was done. It’s understandable that you may not be comfortable reading a statement or talking to others in a courtroom setting, so it may be that you will be allowed to have the attorney read your prepared statement on your behalf.
If you’re in too much pain or are too exhausted to appear in court, you may ask to attend in other ways. Some courts now offer video streaming, so you can communicate from your hospital room or home remotely if you cannot attend directly. You may also be able to send your statement on a video recording, depending on the case and if you get approval to do so.
If, for some reason, there is no other choice but to appear in court, don’t worry. Your attorney will talk to you about how to dress, what to say or not say and how to present yourself to the court. You’re the victim in this scenario, and you have a right to be heard. Your attorney will work with you to make sure you get that opportunity in the way that is most comfortable for you.