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Dressing for trial in a personal injury case

If you are the plaintiff in a New York personal injury claim, there is every hope that your claim will settle well before you ever get to a courtroom. But the wise plaintiff and personal injury attorney know to plan anyway for a court appearance.

One of the major questions you might have as a plaintiff is what you should wear to court. Some plaintiffs think that wrapping themselves in C-collars and using canes will win over the jurors or the judge (think Harvey Weinstein stumbling behind his aluminum-frame walker on his way into court). That failed miserably for Mr. Weinstein and could backfire on your personal injury case as well. Below are some tips to dress for success in court.

Unless it’s medically necessary, leave the medical trappings at home

Unless your injuries are severe enough that you use a C-collar, wheelchair, walker or cane in daily life, leave those theatrical trappings at home. After all, you will only look foolish if the defense rolls tape on you walking around your yard or shopping unaided or without that C-collar.

Never wear tight clothing

While there are varying opinions on this, there is some evidence that loose clothing on the witness/plaintiff can enhance the vulnerability of their appearance. For instance, if you typically wear a size 7 dress, consider coming to court in either a very loose version or a size 9 version.

Dress for the seriousness of the case

Now is not the time to sport your jeans and Jimmy Buffett Parrot-head T-shirt. Think conservative cuts of clothing, dark colors, closed-toe shoes and no skin showing other than your hands, neck and head. If you have any tattoos on those exposed areas, use professional concealer to cover any ink.

If you have any questions whatsoever about your appearance in court, arrange a trial run with your attorney a day or so before the trial. Your personal injury attorney can offer their insight and guidance on what will portray you in the best light for the jury or judge.