Many people have a natural air of confidence. They walk confidently, talk confidently, and act confident; it seems like nothing can make them falter. That all can change, though, when they enter a courtroom for the first time. The injury they sustained, along with the fear of a trial and a new environment, can shatter that confidence and leave it in ruins on the floor. The fear of a trial shouldn’t prevent your client from seeking the settlement they deserve.
Cultivating Confidence in Your Client Before They Take the Stand
There are several ways in which you can help your personal injury client gain confidence before their trial, and many of them have to do with your actions. If you are transparent with them about their case and the proceedings right from the beginning, it will go a long way to calming their nerves before they get on the stand. Sometimes, in both professional and personal circumstances, it’s easier to take an indirect approach when discussing an uncomfortable subject such as money for example. Although it’s easier to do so, being open and transparent about everything will make it effortless for your client to trust you and fully believe you have their best interests in mind. On the flip side, it’s harder to have confidence and trust someone when it seems like they’re avoiding something from you or not being truthful.
Practicing cross-examination questions will also help your personal injury client feel more comfortable and confident in the courtroom. A task, like answering multiple heavy-loaded questions, is much less frightening when you have done it several times before. Take the time to practice questions with them, and they will exude confidence when they respond to those questions, or ones like them, on the stand. This confidence will help them establish credibility, too. A lack of confidence in your client can be damaging to their case. We tend to assume someone who is nervous is lying, and an anxious individual tends not to be believed. So, helping your client fix their lack of confidence can influence their case in a major way.
Communication is Key
A plaintiff cannot be confident about their case if they know nothing about it. If they speak infrequently with their lawyer, do not get a response back from them, or receive rushed answers, their confidence will begin to plummet. If there simply is no progress as of yet to communicate, but you fail to let your client know that, they will still feel left in the dark. When you are in communication with them, make an effort to be thoughtful and thorough, even if you don’t have much time to give them. If they respond with questions or concerns, ensure they get a response. Nothing affects confidence more than a lack of communication.
Fear can be an enormous obstacle for anyone, especially your personal injury client, to overcome while preparing for the courtroom. It can freeze you into place or trigger a flight or fight response. You want your client to fight for their case and their settlement. Confidence will help them do that. By being communicating, practicing, and being transparent, you can help your client get the settlement they so rightly deserve.