As a non-native English speaker, dealing with important situations can be challenging. A court case is one of those times when you can’t afford for there to be any misunderstandings. If your case goes to trial, then you may also need to be able to speak to the judge or jury. If this happens, don’t worry. These four tips will help you get through the court case without having to worry about your ability to speak English like a native.
Get as Much Evidence as Possible
A picture is worth a thousand words, and you can use images from the accident scene to help make a compelling case for the court to see. You can also use documents to prove your claim. Get copies made of any medical reports, death certificates and bills that you receive. These can all help to provide a reason for the compensation that you seek. You may also be able to get a witness statement that further proves your point. Talk to native English speakers you trust to make sure you understand what is contained on your documents.
Hire a Competent Local Attorney
No one should try to handle a court case alone, and you especially need assistance from a competent lawyer who can help you overcome the fact that you don’t speak English well. Wrongful death accident lawyers know how to advocate for you. They can help you read important documents and answer questions during the case. Remember also that most lawyers will accept a portion of what compensation they win for you as payment, so you won’t have to pay upfront.
Let People Know When You Don’t Understand
You should also remember that it is okay to ask people to clarify what they say. If someone speaks too fast for you to understand, then politely ask them to slow down. You may also need to refer people to your lawyer if they are talking complicated legal language that does not make sense. It is better to ask for help understanding than to make a mistake by answering a questions wrong during your court case.
Request to Read Documents in Your Native Language
Modern technology has made it easier to simply use a translator program to create documents in many different languages. If possible, ask your attorney to help you get any important documents into printed language that you understand. This can be especially important if you must sign legal final papers towards the end of your case.
In many cases, you can also request an interpreter that is paid for by the court, although sometimes interpreters are required to be hired by you. Contact the county clerk’s office yourself or through an intermediary to request one and go from there.
You can’t help it when the worst happens. Dealing with an accidental injury or death is hard enough, but knowing how to get through the court part of your claim helps you to feel better. Make sure to surround yourself with support during this time that includes a mixture of family, friends, and qualified legal representation that helps you get the outcome you want from your case.