No matter what the case, it’s critical to be as truthful and as candid with your lawyer as possible. You might assume that there’s no need to reveal everything, but if you haven’t been forthcoming and your attorney ends up blindsided at a deposition or trial, you may lose your case or get a settlement offer that’s significantly lower.
Keep in mind when a personal injury lawsuit is filed, insurance companies have access to vast databases on prior lawsuits, claims, and criminal records. Adjusters frequently order full background checks and insurance companies might pay a private investigator to video a claimant. That means whatever it is is going to come out eventually so being upfront as early on as possible with your personal injury lawyer is your best bet for a winning case.
t may feel uncomfortable or embarrassing as there may be things in your life that you’d rather others didn’t know, but your attorney is there to be your advocate and not to judge you. It’s far better for him or her to learn it from you than from the “other side.”
These are three of the major facts that should never be left out:
Your Criminal Record
If you have a criminal record, your personal injury lawyer needs to know in order to prepare your case. Not every conviction or charge may be relevant but some are and it’s up to your attorney to help you figure out the difference. It may be used by the opposing counsel in an attempt to cast doubt on your credibility. Even if you have no criminal record, if you’re currently facing any legal troubles be sure to bring that fact up.
Remember, the more your attorney knows about you and all facts involving your case, the more knowledge he or she will have to prepare and work with you to create the best possible strategy.
Current and/or Past Illnesses and Injuries
Illnesses and injuries almost always have an impact on the value of your case. You’ll need proof showing that the accident your case is focused on is the one that is responsible for your current condition. Be sure to reveal everything related to this as the opposing counsel will investigate your past and present physical and mental condition along with all prior illnesses and injuries, particularly if any have been incurred after the current incident that’s the subject of the lawsuit.
Many of these cases include claims of emotional or mental distress caused by the accident, so you’ll have to tell your lawyer if you’ve ever been diagnosed with any conditions related to your mental or emotional health. It’s not the most comfortable subject, but it’s critical that you discuss it with your counsel.
Previous Claims and Financial Troubles
The opposing counsel is going to be looking for reasons that your claim is more about remedying your financial troubles rather than ensuring medical treatment and actual damages related to the accident are covered. That means If you’ve made prior insurance claims, particularly due to an injury, your lawyer must know that early on.
Additionally, if you’ve had major financial troubles, that’s also something you’ll want to discuss despite it being very personal. Bankruptcy filings are included as that can have a direct impact on the recovery you might get for your case.