If you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case, the burden of proof rests on you to convince a judge or jury that you have suffered severe injuries that warrant compensation. During this process, your personal injury attorney will play a pivotal role by gathering facts and evidence that will help to defend your case. However, in order for your personal injury claim to be successful, your attorney will need to know a variety of details, such as:
- Information about the accident and possible involvement
- Details surrounding your personal life
- Past injuries
- Criminal history
- Marital status
- And more
In fact, a personal injury attorney will be well aware of this, and they will likely ask a variety of questions about your life and health to help them better understand your case. Unfortunately, these questions often feel embarrassing or too personal to clients meaning you may feel tempted to hide certain details from your attorney. If this occurs, you must remember you may be putting your entire case at risk.
It is critical that you answer all of the questions your attorney asks you honestly and that you are prepared to share confidential information with your attorney. To help you feel more prepared for any questions you may face, here is a look at some vital details that you need to share with your personal injury attorney.
1. Share Every Detail About the Accident
In order to build a solid case in your favor, your attorney needs to know as much as possible about what happened on the day of the accident. Even events that may seem minor or inconsequential to you could be critical to your case, so it is important that you tell them as much about that day as possible. You may even find it helpful to write down what happened that day before you talk to your attorney, as this will allow you to get down as many details as possible ahead of time.
2. Mention Any Prior Injuries or Illnesses Relevant to Your Case
One of the most important things for you to tell your personal injury attorney is if you have any prior injuries or health conditions that may be relevant to your case. While it may seem personal to talk about your health history, it is critical that you do so. The defendant’s attorney will do everything in their power to limit how much compensation you receive.
If you have a history of chronic medical issues, the defense attorney may try to connect prior injuries to your current injuries in an attempt to reduce your settlement. It is then critical that you are completely honest with your attorney about your health history from the beginning, as this will ensure that they are prepared to defend you from attempts to blame your current injuries on your health history.
3. Don’t Hide Your Criminal History
When talking to your personal injury attorney, it is critical that you are upfront about any criminal charges on your record, including charges from juvenile records. While you may not like to talk about your criminal history, and it may not seem relevant to your case, your attorney needs to know about any misdemeanors or felonies you’ve been charged with and/or convicted of in the past, as it could come up during your case. It’s not unusual for the defense attorney to run a background check to strengthen their case.
With that, the defense attorney will know about your criminal history, and if you’ve been charged with anything that may make you seem untrustworthy. This information can be used in court to discredit you. Your attorney then needs to be made aware of your criminal history so that they can prepare you for any question you may receive about your past, and so that they can defend you against attempts to discredit your case.
4. Talk About Plans to File for Divorce
Divorce is another sensitive subject people may try to hide from their attorney, particularly if they have just started the process of separating from their spouse. However, it is critical that you make your attorney aware of your intention to divorce your spouse as soon as possible, as it will likely be relevant to your case. The main reason your attorney needs to know about your divorce is that your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be brought in for a deposition, and if they have hard feelings against you that are brought up during their testimony, this could end up hurting your case.
Your attorney then needs to be aware of this so that they can be prepared. Additionally, if your divorce has been influenced in any way by your injury (due to your inability to work or because of a change in behavior resulting from your injury), your attorney may be able to factor this into your emotional distress claim. Your personal injury attorney then needs to be made aware of your plans to divorce your spouse, as it could have a profound effect on your case.
5. Be Upfront If You Played a Role in the Accident
Many people fear making themselves look even partially at fault in an accident, as they worry that this could affect their case. However, if you believe that you may have been even partially at fault for the accident, it is critical that you discuss this with your attorney so that they can prepare accordingly. The fact is that you can still collect compensation if you are partially at fault for an accident. However, if you lie about the extent to which you are to blame for the accident, the defendant’s attorney may use this as a chance to turn things around and argue that you were completely at fault for your injuries, ruining your chances of receiving compensation.
6. Be Honest About Medical Expenses and Lost Wages
When talking to your attorney about your losses associated with the accident, you must never exaggerate or lie about the numbers, as this could completely discredit your case. In fact, your attorney will likely need to see receipts, medical bills/statements, and other evidence proving lost wages and medical costs when building your case.
No matter how difficult it may be, it is critical that you are completely honest at all times when talking to your personal injury attorney. Being open with your attorney will give them the best chances of building a solid case to help ensure that you are compensated properly for your injuries. However, if you hide something important from your attorney, this could end up negatively impacting your case.
Feel free to contact us to learn more about the important details you should share with your personal injury attorney.