Establishing Credibility in an Injury Case
August 10, 2021
The goal of filing a personal injury claim is to recover compensation by proving another party is at fault for your injury and damages. Not only do crash victims need strong evidence to prove their case; they also need to establish they have strong credibility.
Most personal injury claims are filed with insurance companies, and they will be looking for ways to attack the victim’s credibility. If they can tear down a victim’s credibility, he or she may be more willing to accept a lowball offer. The insurance company may also be more likely to prevail if the case goes to court, as attacks on your credibility may sway the jury against the victim.
The good news is there are many steps you can take to help protect your credibility after being injured by another’s negligence.
If you are concerned you may have unintentionally damaged your credibility, the experienced lawyers at Phillips Law Group are prepared to help. An initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys is free.
Why Credibility is so Important
Injury victims who have good credibility tend to recover more compensation than those who do not. Insurance companies know that if an injury victim with good credibility takes a case to court, the jury is likely to be more sympathetic to his or her case. We tend to believe people with good credibility and have much less reason to suspect they are lying or withholding information.
In fact, if the insurance company plays hardball and decides not to make a fair offer, they may make a better offer after the victim files a lawsuit. The insurance company may think going to court would be a bad idea because the victim is likely to succeed.
Your credibility is based on various things, such as whether evidence disproves things you said about the accident. Your actions in the aftermath of the crash can also go a long way in establishing your credibility. For example, going to the hospital immediately shows others you are taking the situation seriously, while waiting makes people suspicious about the seriousness of the situation.
Other things that can factor into your credibility include:
- Criminal history (prior arrests, criminal convictions, etc.)
- Your demeanor
- Personal history, such as what other people say about you, and whether others say you have a history of lying or telling the truth
- Alcohol or substance abuse issues
- Traffic citations you have received
- Financial difficulties, as this could cause the insurance company to claim you are only seeking money
If you have things in your past that you think may impact your credibility, make sure to inform your Phoenix-based personal injury attorney right away. That way he or she can be prepared and determine how best to bolster your case.
Establishing Your Credibility
There are several steps you can take to help establish your credibility or at least make it harder for the insurance company to attack the strength of your case.
- Go to the hospital immediately after the accident so there is no gap in time between the accident and your treatment.
- Keep your statements to the insurance company brief or have the insurance company talk to your lawyer.
- Contact a lawyer right away so he or she can start managing your case; an experienced lawyer will know how to protect the full value of your claim and tell you what you can do to strengthen your case.
- Either do not post anything on social media for a while or avoid posting anything related to your accident.
The social media part of this is particularly important for people who regularly post pictures and messages on social media. You need to understand how the insurance company may view certain posts. If you post pictures of your vacation or engaging in some strenuous physical activity, the insurance company is likely to use this to claim you are not really injured. You should also avoid posting pictures or messages about going out with your friends on the weekend.
Consistency in your statements about the accident is important. However, it can be hard to stay consistent, as you may forget details as time passes, causing you to make contradictory statements. Even if you are careful, you could contradict yourself, which is why you should allow an attorney to speak to the insurance company on your behalf.
You also need to be careful not to exaggerate your injuries. You just need to state the facts about your injuries. If you can do an activity but it causes you pain, say that, but do not say you cannot do the activity.
Disobeying the doctor’s orders can be devastating to your credibility. If you ignore what the doctor is telling you the insurance company and a jury may wonder how badly you are hurt. They may think you are exaggerating your injuries, and this could affect the value of your claim.
Need Help After an Injury? Call Today
Injury victims are often unsure of how to pursue full compensation for their damages. That is why many seek out an attorney to help them manage their case.
For nearly three decades, Phillips Law Group has been advocating for injury victims throughout Arizona. We have established a record of success, recovering hundreds of millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
We take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees or legal obligations. We do not get paid unless and until you get paid.
Call Phillips Law Group today to learn more. 1-800-706-3000
Jasmine helped me so so much I want to thank her ! And also Aaron , i was always scared after an accident , knowing I would have to deal with lawyers but not here . Luckily I’ve only been in 3 accidents but this time it was fast and easy . And i received all the treatments I needed to help me recover ! Thank you Jasmine and Aaron!
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