When filing a personal injury case, you can usually expect your case to reach a settlement rather than to go to trial. In fact, only 4% to 5% of cases end up going to trial. To ensure that you are in the best position to reach a reasonable settlement, you must be as honest with your attorney as possible and disclose personal information that might be harmful to your case. You don't want your attorney to be caught off guard. This article will look at 3 types of personal information that should not be kept private.
The Presence of Prior Injuries
The amount of compensation that you are entitled to may be significantly reduced if the opposing party can prove that the injuries you're claiming are from a previous injury. In fact, if the opposing party can prove that you withheld this information in court, your whole case might be thrown out despite the fact that the accident may have actually worsened your injury. You don't want your attorney to be surprised with this information in court, so make sure you disclose any prior injuries and surgeries you might have had. Provide your attorney with your medical reports and documents, so they know exactly what they're dealing with.
If you were injured in a way that worsened a pre-existing injury, you are still entitled to compensation. However, your attorney must prove that the accident did indeed worsen your condition and must be able to provide additional information as to how the accident might have setback your recovery.
Whether You're Going Through Bankruptcy or Getting a Divorce
Although you might feel embarrassed if you are currently going through the process of filing for bankruptcy or getting a divorce, it is vital that you disclose this piece of information to your attorney. It might not seem relevant to your case now; however, any compensation that you are awarded may belong to your estate. Due to this reason, your creditors may be able to go after the compensation that you are awarded. Your spouse might also be entitled to a part of the compensation.
If you are getting a divorce as a result of the accident, then your personal injury attorney will also want to factor that into your case, as you are eligible for a higher amount of compensation since the accident has significantly altered and affected your life. In addition, your attorney might want to depose your spouse from your case if your spouse might harbor hard feelings against you and might put your case in jeopardy.
Any Criminal History and Records Under Your Name
As you are a key witness to your case, you must be deemed credible in the eyes of the law or in court. As a result, don't hesitate to disclose any information to your attorney in regards to any criminal history or records that you might have. Your attorney will want to take a look at the charges that were made against you, as well as when the crimes were committed, to determine how credible you are. They will help you prepare for cross examinations from the opposing lawyer that are designed to discredit you.
If you are not honest about your criminal record, you will end up jeopardizing your case. This type of information is easy for the opposing lawyer to find. If you are deemed dishonest, your entire case might be thrown out in court.
Be honest with your personal injury attorney. They are supposed to work for you and are supposed to help you build a strong case that will allow you to negotiate a higher settlement amount. Giving them a heads up on any information that might be damaging to your case will allow them to come up with a more effective strategy that is tailored to your situation.
If you are still looking for an attorney, check out a firm like Clearfield & Kofsky.