meeting with attorney

Many personal injury claims can be negotiated out of court for a proper settlement when you have an attorney on your side. The insurance company might not want to drag things out any more than you do, and hiring a lawyer will often get them to stop playing games and comply.

Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always cooperate, and you may need to go to court to try to recover all your damages after an accident.

One of the easiest and best things you can do to help your case is dress appropriately. Your appearance can sway the judge or jury against you if you are not careful!

It’s important to note that dressing appropriately for court may mean a big change from what you are used to wearing day to day, especially in the hot summer months. Your lawyer should be able to give you tips on how to dress before appearing in court, but these standards can give you a better idea of what not to wear when testifying.

What to Avoid Wearing to Court

The biggest sin you can commit when appearing before a judge is dressing “disrespectfully,” and what a judge may consider disrespectful may not be what you consider disrespectful. The judge wants to know that you are taking the legal process seriously. Dressing casually could give the impression you were not seriously impacted by your injury.

Don’t wear:

  • “Comfort” clothes, such as pajamas or yoga pants
  • Sports gear, such as baseball caps or jerseys
  • T-shirts, especially those with offensive slogans or imagery
  • Jeans, especially those with rips or tears
  • Shorts
  • Clothing with stains
  • Flip-flops

It is also important to avoid any clothing that could appear immodest.

Don’t wear:

  • Clothes that reveal your underwear, such as baggy pants or tank tops
  • Short skirts or clothing with deep necklines
  • Clothing that is too tight
  • Excessively high heels
  • Excessive amounts of jewelry, piercings, or visible tattoos

The color of your clothing can also impact how you are perceived.

  • Black clothes are associated with authority, which could make you appear arrogant or less sympathetic.
  • Light clothes are often viewed as being too informal.
  • Bright or boldly patterned clothes are distracting and draw attention away from your injury claim.

Finally, there is no need to overdress. You should appear authentic, so there is no reason to pull out a tuxedo or the dress you wore to your cousin’s wedding.

If you do show up to court wearing clothing that is deemed “inappropriate,” you may be sent home to change. Some courthouses enforce a dress code, and those who break it will not be allowed to enter the courtroom. Ask your lawyer whether your courthouse enforces a dress code.

What to Wear Instead

The best guideline when dressing for a court appearance is to dress as you would for church or a job interview.

Men should wear a collared shirt, with or without a tie, tucked into dress pants with a belt, and dress shoes. If they do not own dress shoes, clean dark-colored tennis shoes may be substituted.

Women should wear a blouse or light sweater with a modest neckline paired with slacks or a knee length skirt, and either flats or closed-toe shoes with less than a 2-inch heel.

For both men and women, the best colors to wear are dark, neutral colors such as navy or gray. Men should be clean-shaven or have neatly trimmed facial hair, and both men and women should consider removing any facial piercings.

Don’t Represent Yourself in an Injury Claim; Call the Experienced Attorneys at Joye Law Firm

Insurance companies are notorious for denying valid claims or offering severely insufficient settlements after accidents that cause injuries.

While you should never accept an offer without first determining how much you will need to cover your expenses after an accident, it is also important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you determine how much you are owed.

The expenses associated with accidents can continue to add up for years after the injury occurred. An experienced injury attorney can not only help you determine how much you will need for ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced income (in the case of disability), they can also calculate how much you may be owed for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of your injury.

At Joye Law Firm, our injury hotline is available to take queries 24/7, and we offer free consultations to injury victims. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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