There are many factors that affect your ability to recover compensation for damages from a personal injury. For example, the strength of the evidence your attorney collects while investigating your claim.
Your credibility is another important factor, especially if your case goes to trial and ends up in the hands of a jury. However, your credibility will also be scrutinized by the insurance company. They will be trying to find some reason to claim you are lying or exaggerating aspects of your case.
When an injury victim is seen as credible, he or she may be more likely to recover compensation. It will be harder for the insurance company to dispute the victim’s statements and other aspects of the case.
Below, we discuss what makes an injury victim credible and what factors can throw credibility into question. We also discuss steps you can take to protect your credibility after a personal injury.
If you were injured by another’s negligence, you can contact our firm to discuss how we may be able to assist you. We have helped countless injured victims over more than three decades and have obtained millions on their behalf.
In an injury case, it is your word against the word of the at-fault party. If you have better credibility, it is easier to believe you. At the very least, the insurance company will have a much harder time disputing your claim. Their arguments for denying or underpaying your claim are likely to be flimsy, particularly if you have an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney who is ready to counter these arguments.
When a case goes before a jury, they will be considering the facts of the case and the credibility of the victim, along with others involved in the case. If you have good credibility and your attorney can back up that credibility, the jury may be more likely to award more compensation. Although the evidence is important, juries do not want to reward people who they think are lying or have a history of illegal or reckless behavior.
If you have strong credibility, it may be less likely your case will end up at trial. Why would the insurance company want to risk going to trial when they know the jury is likely to be sympathetic to your side of the story?
Credibility can be especially important with non-economic damages. While medical records and testimony from medical experts can help to validate these damages, you need the jury to be able to trust that you are not exaggerating your physical and emotional issues.
When people with strong credibility say something, others are more likely to believe and trust them. That is the simple definition for credibility.
There are steps you can take after an accident to demonstrate strong credibility. For example, going to the hospital right away shows you are taking your injuries seriously and helps link the injuries to the accident.
Not posting anything on social media during the legal process can help protect your credibility. If you post on social media you run the risk of posting pictures or text that could contradict claims about your injuries or the accident.
The insurance company is sure to pounce on the opportunity to use this information against you. For example, if you post pictures of your vacation they will say you are not really injured. Pictures of you exercising or statements about how well your recovery is going could also be used to attack your credibility.
Staying consistent is also vital to your credibility. You do not want to have contradictory statements about the accident. Even if you only mess up minor details, the insurance company could use it against you.
That is why you should avoid saying much if anything to the insurance company. You can let your attorney speak on your behalf. Insurance companies know how to trick accident victims into saying things that hurt their claims. They will keep track of everything you say so they can get you to contradict yourself the next time you talk to them.
Another way to protect your credibility is to follow the doctor’s instructions on your physical activity. If you push it you could aggravate your injuries and the insurance company will try to claim you are not as injured as you have said.
While there are many ways to help protect your credibility, one of the best things you can do is call an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can manage your claim and explain how you can protect your credibility.
Some of the things that could call your credibility into question could include:
If there are things in your past that you think the insurance company may use against you, inform your attorney so he or she will be prepared if these things come up. You do not need to go through the legal process alone.
There are no upfront fees for our legal services, as we work on contingency. We do not get paid for representing you unless you receive compensation at the end of the legal process.
We have a track record of success and are ready to guide you through the legal process. You do not need to go through this process alone – victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.
Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices. No Upfront Fees. Call 410-401-9979.