Slip-and-falls can happen to anyone at any time. Sadly, navigating the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. When a person falls, he or she may suffer serious injuries that have a long-lasting physical and financial impact.
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident, you may wonder how you can receive compensation for your injuries. When seeking justice for these types of incidents, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury lawyers know a strong case makes all the difference in securing fair compensation for injured clients. Let’s explore common tactics used by lawyers when seeking justice for you.
Strategies Personal Injury Lawyers Use to Build Strong Cases
Lawyers work hard to prepare cases for injured clients by employing strategies proven effective over their years of experience. Of course, some of the most effective trial tactics are employed long before your day in court.
So before we get into discussing in-court tactics, let’s review the steps your lawyer may take when building a solid foundation for your case.
Assessing your personal injury claim
Your legal journey begins with an initial consultation between you and a lawyer you are considering working with.
During your initial consultation with the lawyer, he or she may:
- Gather details about the incident
- Assess the extent of injuries
- Evaluate your case’s worth
- Discuss your potential legal options
This meeting lays the foundation for the strategic planning that follows, once your case is taken on by that firm.
Collecting the proper evidence for your slip and fall case
A skilled lawyer knows that solid evidence can make or break the outcome of a trial. So the right lawyer will leave no stone unturned when it comes to gathering information that supports your claim.
One critical element of gathering evidence is documenting the scene of the accident. To build a strong case, your attorney may gather evidence such as:
- Surveillance footage
- Photographs of any hazardous conditions
- Text messages reporting a dangerous condition, such as poor lighting
- Any other relevant documentation to show the property owner knew the hazard existed
These records provide tangible proof of negligence by property owners or managers.
Conducting thorough investigations
Your lawyer can demonstrate how negligence led to your injuries through careful investigation.
When conducting an investigation, your legal team may:
- Review witness statements
- Request police reports
- Take photographs or video footage of the scene
- Gather information about the history of incidents at the location where you fell
- Collect medical records, including diagnoses and treatment plans
- Review building codes, maintenance records, and other relevant documents
- Examine evidence of inadequate maintenance
- Consult experts to provide professional opinions on liability
In slip-and-fall accidents, eyewitness testimony is invaluable. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable accounts of what happened before and during the accident. This testimony can corroborate your version of events.
Witnesses may be asked about:
- What each witness saw
- Where he or she was standing
- The behavior of the parties involved in the slip-and-fall
- Any specific details that could help establish liability
Leveraging expert witnesses to support your personal injury case
Utilizing expert witnesses is another tactic used by lawyers. An expert witness can provide powerful insight into factors contributing to your fall.
Of course, not all professionals qualify to serve as expert witnesses. Georgia law, for instance, strictly outlines who can testify as experts. Thus, your legal team must review potential experts to ensure the admissibility of the testimony provided.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Prepares for Trial
The following are some strategies your personal injury attorney may utilize when preparing for litigation.
Focus groups are small, carefully selected panels of individuals. These interactive groups provide valuable insights into how potential jurors may react.
In focus groups, participants are presented with information about the accident. Then, the group is asked to discuss their thoughts, opinions, and reactions.
These sessions allow attorneys to understand how different people might interpret crucial details or arguments. By listening attentively to these discussions, lawyers can identify potential weaknesses in the case or even highlight its strengths.
As part of this process, lawyers can gather feedback on various aspects, such as:
- Liability issues
- Causation factors
- Damages claimed by plaintiffs
By involving ordinary citizens rather than just legal experts or consultants in these sessions, lawyers get access to diverse perspectives that closely mirror that of actual jurors. This real-world insight helps fine-tune legal strategies by anticipating potential biases or misunderstandings that could arise during trial.
Building a solid case involves preparing witnesses to testify in court. However, some witnesses may feel nervous about their court appearance.
Each witness must understand and be prepared for what is involved in the trial process. Your attorney may work closely with each witness to prepare him or her for trial. The goal is to help all witnesses be well-prepared, articulate, composed, and able to clearly convey testimony.
During these preparation sessions, lawyers may prepare witnesses by:
- Explaining the legal process
- Anticipating potential challenges
- Role-playing different scenarios
- Drilling down on key facts
- Clarifying inconsistencies in the testimony
- Highlighting critical points that need emphasis during testimony
Eyewitness testimony is not always foolproof. Witnesses have different perspectives, and memories fade over time.
Also, stress and bias can influence witness testimony. Still, reliable witnesses can significantly help your case.
Mock trials are simulated court proceedings. These sessions allow attorneys to test arguments and gather feedback before entering a courtroom.
During mock trials, lawyers present evidence and arguments to a panel of individuals who act as jurors. This panel is carefully selected to reflect the demographics of the potential jurors in the actual trial.
Lawyers can gauge how different strategies resonate with typical jury members. Panel reactions can help identify any weaknesses or gaps in the case presentation. By studying these, lawyers can tailor trial tactics accordingly.
Based on the results of the mock trial or strategy session, your legal team can:
- Fine-tune arguments
- Prepare for unexpected developments based on the results of the simulations
- Help you feel more comfortable and prepared for the actual trial setting
Jury selection strategy
Careful juror selection is one tactic lawyers use to build strong cases. Attorneys must carefully assess potential jurors during the selection process.
The selection process involves:
- Reviewing juror questionnaires
- Conducting interviews
- Paying attention to non-verbal cues that may indicate bias or prejudice
Excluding individuals showing signs of preconceived notions or favoring one side over another can help your case.
One key element of strategic preparation is anticipating the opposing counsel’s arguments. Lawyers can conduct thorough analyses of potential counterarguments and develop effective responses.
To prepare clients for trial, personal injury lawyers may use the following methods:
- Practicing responses to potential questions
- Advising the plaintiff on how to stay calm when facing opposing counsel
- Helping the victim maintain composure when viewing painful evidence
Such preparation is instrumental in presenting a credible and consistent account of the slip-and-fall incident.
The Power of a Well-Prepared Case
Going to trial is an in-depth and time-consuming process. However, with a strong case and the right lawyer, you can have confidence at every step of your legal journey.
A well-prepared case strengthens your chances of success. It also sends a powerful message that says you won’t back down from seeking justice for your injuries or losses.
During the trial itself, your lawyer can argue for fair compensation based on damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Any other damages you may have suffered from the accident
At Hoffspiegel Law, we understand the challenges that slip and fall victims face. That is why our personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for justice on your behalf.
When you meet with us for an initial consultation, we can evaluate your case and guide you on how to proceed. Our slip-and-fall accident lawyers can employ various tactics to build a strong case for you – from using expert witnesses to focus groups.
To learn more about your legal options, why not discuss your case with a Hoffspiegel Law attorney today? Call us today at (404) 760-8000 or click the Contact Us button below to schedule a free consultation.