It goes without saying that appropriate, consistent, and honest communication is vital to dialogue and understanding between persons and parties. In legal matters, this is no different and can be even more important since petitioners must rely on effective communication to elicit the best results for their clients. Personal injury cases are usually extremely complicated and the legal rigors involved often keep attorneys working hundreds of hours on a single case.
This is why it’s so important to ensure that at every step in the process that communication is open, honest, and detailed. Any disconnects in communication can result in either the wrong arguments being put forward or mistakes in litigation. Mistakes in litigation can be extremely expensive to repair or undo. This is why it is incredibly important to have a good relationship with your attorney and to ensure that the messages you are sending or the description of events is as precise as possible, and understood by the attorney or any paralegals working on the case.
Barriers to Communication
Very often when attempting to convey a particular message people will lose their message to distraction, language difficulties, attitudes and emotions, and other soft and hard barriers. For example, when English is a second language there can be real difficulties in expressing oneself fully in English and many important case nuances can be lost. Moreover, when emotional we are often unable to think clearly about details. There can be many barriers to communication that will end up having a deleterious effect on a case. This is why it is so important to work with an attorney or firm that understands how to get the necessary details from you and communicate in such a way that you deliver the appropriate and correct information to the attorney.
Tips for Effective Communication
Effective communication between any two parties is about conveying a particular message in a manner in which others can process and then respond to effectively. It also means receiving a message and articulating that it is understood. This is how appropriate attorney-client communications should occur, in a “cycle.” That means when a message is sent to a party, that party must communicate not only that they received it but also verify what they believe is being communicated. That exchange is a critical communication skill called “active listening.”
So what you are saying is…? By now, people may have encountered others who respond with active listening skills. Active listening is not always an in-person exchange, it also can be used when sending and receiving electronic communications. Active listening is a way of verifying what you believe the other party is trying to communicate. This soft skill becomes incredibly important where there are language difficulties that may prevent a quick flow of dialogue.
Your personal injury attorney creates a case based off of a highly detailed set of information. That information must be one hundred percent accurate, and it must be complete. When information is inaccurate or missing, the opposing side can exploit these weaknesses in your case. Given the difficulties in appealing cases it is more important to nail the case the first time around. It is extremely important that both you and your attorney communicate effectively with one another in the pre-trial period so that when your case—if your case—goes to trial that it is as airtight as possible.