Accident victims routinely make the mistake of not fully informing their attorney of facts that may adversely affect their case. While motivations vary from thinking it may not be important to believing that the information may not ever come out, the result can be catastrophic for a case.
Being completely honest and open with your attorney will enable him or her to deal with factors that may adversely affect the case. If the attorney does not know about something, the damage can be irreparable.
Some important information to share with your attorney includes:
- Prior injuries
- Other lawsuits or injury claims
- Subsequent accidents
- Problematic marital or family issues,
- Prior criminal charges
- All medical providers seen
- Previous medical problems
- Prior medical treatment
Defendants and insurance companies have access to sophisticated databases that show prior personal-injury claims, insurance claims and even crash histories. Additionally, the Internet has made widely available other information such as prior lawsuits and court related cases. The defense wants to catch a victim in a lie or not being 100% truthful because they can use that to turn a jury off and make the credibility of the victim a theme in the case.
BEWARE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
More often than not, attorneys representing insurance carrier interests are requesting social media profiles for research regarding postings after the accident. Be very careful about any Facebook, Google plus or other social media posting after an injury accident, as the social media posts may become evidence in a case.
DISCOVERY IN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
If a personal injury claim ends up in litigation, most likely written discovery will be required and also a deposition where the personal injury victim is asked questions under oath. It is critically important that the information shared in written discovery and in the deposition be truthful.
If a personal injury attorney is not aware of information because they have not been informed their client, it might create a trap for the case. By providing inaccurate information to the defendants, a personal injury claim can be ruined.
An insurance company’s best situation is when they find the accident victim has been less than candid in a manner that can be used against them in the trial of the lawsuit. By impeaching the victim at trial, a perfectly winnable case can turn into a nightmare because the jury or the judge simply cannot believe the plaintiff.
If a personal injury victim is completely candid with their attorney, the attorney can minimize any harm from adverse facts in a personal injury trial. Without that knowledge, the attorney can end up with a situation that cannot be rectified.
ALWAYS TELL YOUR INJURY ATTORNEY EVERYTHING
The best course of action is to tell your attorney everything that potentially could have an impact on the case. Let the attorney decide what is important and what is not, leave nothing out.
Do not make the mistake of believing that out of sight- out of mind applies to personal injury claims – it doesn’t.