What to Expect During a Court Hearing in Fort Lauderdale
A personal injury court hearing can be intimidating, but being well prepared can help you have a more successful and less stressful experience. A hearing is often your first chance to present your case to the court. It’s important to be professional and respectful throughout the hearing. Be sure follow all of the rules of the court and your attorney’s advice.
Attorney David I. Fuchs always handles court hearings for his clients. For more than 30 years, he has worked closely with people who have been injured to help them obtain the compensation they deserve. Court hearings are often a necessary part of a lawsuit, and a dedicated attorney can help you manage them. Call David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today using our online contact form.
What is a Court Hearing?
In Florida, you may attend a hearing for a variety of different reasons. If you’ve filed a civil suit, such as a car accident case, a court hearing comes after initial negotiations with the respondent. If you and the respondent cannot agree on compensation for your injuries, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit with the local civil court.
A court hearing may take place to gather initial information about the case, discuss motions, address any delays or concerns, or hold the trial. Depending on your specific case, a court hearing can be complex and drawn out, or short and concise. You may end up going to a hearing relatively soon after filing your suit, or not for a long time.
What Happens at a Car Accident Court Hearing?
If you’ve filed a lawsuit after a car accident, you may have a court hearing to meet other parties and set a schedule. Your attorney may be present on your behalf or this may take place via Zoom since COVID-19 requires social distancing. At that court hearing, everyone will introduce themselves to the judge and agree to specific dates and deadlines. There will be deadlines for filing motions, completing discovery, and going through with mediation. Some courts set these dates without input from the parties.
You may also have a hearing to discuss pre-trial motions from both sides. For example, the defendant may file a Motion to Dismiss the case. We will have an opportunity to go before the court to explain why the trial should move forward and it should not be dismissed based on the facts.
What Will Happen at Trial?
A personal injury trial is where your attorney will argue with the other party’s attorney before a judge. Your attorney will present your case and try to persuade the judge to award you compensation for your injuries. You may have to be in court for a long time, and there’s a chance the judge may order you to come back on another date.
The higher your damages are and the more complicated your accident was, the longer your trial is likely to take.
Presenting Yourself to the Court
A court hearing may be your best chance to make a good impression on the judge. It’s important to dress professionally and take care of your personal appearance. You want to appear reasonable, sympathetic, and credible.
Dress professionally. Aim for one step above business casual. A blazer, blouse, or button up shirt worn with slacks or a skirt will help you look responsible and show that you have respect for the court. Make sure you are well-groomed and well-rested prior to your appearance. Try not to give the judge any reason to dislike you.
It’s also important to be punctual. Plan to arrive at the courthouse early, so you can park, get through security, and avoid any unexpected delays. Some courts in Florida have a dress code. Consider checking your court’s dress code and permitted items. Do not bring weapons – not even a pocket knife – or controlled substances to court, and be sure to silence our cell phone.
During the Hearing
At the hearing itself, let your attorney do the talking. You may be called to introduce yourself or confirm what your attorney has said but avoid speaking unless your attorney advises you to. Personal injury court hearings often rest on small details and carefully constructed arguments. An unexpected or careless comment can throw a wrench in your attorney’s argument.
At the hearing, you will likely be given a place to sit. Sit upright and pay attention to what the attorneys are saying. By showing that you care about the proceedings, you can emphasize that this case is important to you. Be patient, and do not interrupt your attorney or anyone else. Do not attempt to argue with the judge or any court officials.
During COVID-19, some court hearings are being held online over Zoom. In this case, be sure to prepare a well-lit, clean area that is free from distracting noises. A headset and microphone can helpful but are not necessary, so long as your computer has a functioning camera, speaker, and microphone.
Pay careful attention to your mute button. Speaking out carelessly while unmuted is unprofessional and can hurt your case.
After the Hearing
After the hearing, your attorney will be able to give you more details on the day’s events. You may not be entirely sure what the outcome of the hearing was, but your attorney can help you determine what your next steps should be. You may need to schedule another court date, medical examinations, or secure more evidence for your case.
How David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. Can Help You
If you’ve suffered a personal injury accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can help you build a case, maximize your damages, and, if necessary, represent you in court. With over 30 years of experience, David I. Fuchs knows how to craft a strong case and won’t hesitate to fight your right to compensation.
Recovery from an accident is an uphill battle. At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., we believe that no one should have to deal with a personal injury alone.
Reach out to us online to schedule your free consultation.