While a good personal injury attorney can navigate you through a difficult case, there are many things you can do to make the process go smoother. On the contrary, there are also many things you can do to make the process more difficult. This is a summary of past mistakes that were made that hindered a maximum return for the client.
Mistake #1– Hiding Past Accidents from Your Lawyer
Hiding past accidents can be one of the most detrimental things you can do for your case. You must tell your lawyer about everything that has gone on in your past and throughout your history. If you don’t, your lawyer may be blindsided when the insurance company calls and asks about any previous injuries and he/she is unprepared. This is especially troublesome during the time of deposition, or at trial when every mistake and correct answer counts. Your personal injury attorney needs all available information to handle your case properly. Otherwise, it could become a detriment to your case and potentially limit your recovery.
Mistake #2 – Hiding previous injuries
Remember that one time you fell off the ladder painting the house and posted the picture of your swollen ankle at the hospital onto your FaceBook page? You guessed it, it may come back to haunt you. Any competent defense firm will religiously check your previous history, leaving no stone unturned. You can’t change the past- so the best way to proceed is to be honest about everything that has happened, typically within the past five years. Your attorney doesn’t need to hear about the wisdom tooth that was removed when you were 8, but they do need to know anything significant, especially if it could relate to your present injuries. This is important so your lawyer will be prepared when the defense team asks (and they will ask!), you will have documented proof that the injury is unrelated to the injuries currently suffered.
Mistake #3– Misrepresenting Your Activity Level
We all like an occasional game of pick-up soccer with friends and fret when we miss a gym day, but when making the claim for a personal injury case, it is important to keep activities to a minimum. It is almost a certain guarantee that the criminal defense attorney will hire a private investigator to check on you from time to time. One picture of you playing that game of soccer can ruin your case entirely. It is always better to be safe than sorry. We understand that everyone needs to stay active. This is why it’s important to always consult with your doctor and keep your activities within medical guidelines. You should also be up front and honest with your attorney to avoid any hidden surprises.
Mistake #4– Tax return discrepancies
This is perhaps the least known mistake injured people make. When calling out of work because of your injuries, it translates into time that you must claim on your tax returns. When you make this sort of claim, the defense attorney is going to check if you have been doing it correctly. Mistakes do happen to many people during tax season, but even an honest mistake can hurt your credibility. The best case is to always have a professional tax preparer and your attorney look over your documents to make sure everything is in order.