Establishing Credibility in an Injury Case
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
I didn’t know anything about the area, and Phillips Law Group just took care of everything. They helped made sure I knew where I was going, made sure I didn’t have to worry. They literally just took care of me.
Jeffrey Phillips is truly a brilliant attorney and businessman. I would not hesitate for a moment to contact him if I needed a personal injury attorney in Arizona, you would be fortunate to have him and his team. If you have a car accident, slip and fall in a store, or get punched in the face, call Phillips.
Liz was great
The lawyers here are of top quality. Especially Trey Dayes, who was always respectful and hard-working.
PLG is the best! Highly recommend. Love that they do so much to help the community.
If you are in need of legal support for a motor vehicle collision of any kind, I highly recommend going to Phillips Law Group Injury Lawyers. Sean Davis has exemplary knowledge and experience in this field, compassion for his clients, and excellent judgment and communication skills.
Great company and awesome service. Thanks Caroline fabos. Kudos to all.
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My review is for Kathy Hudson a legal assistant at the law firm. She is great! She is very professional and a fair based person. She was never rude to me and always called me back. She listened to me and had my best interest as number 1. Mr Nasir who is a supervisor at law firm also was very professional and helpful. Not sure if spelling his name correctly but sorry if not. As far as mr Ross and the lady that runs the front desk reception I would say they are the most unprofessional and rude people I have met at a law firm in my life especially beings they were representing me. But Kathy made it overall a better experience. Thx Kathy.
Great experience! Took care of pretty much everything, and I always felt like I want in good hands. Caroline Fa. was also a great help with everything. She always returned my calls and I never felt unheard. Even after my case she would still help me with my insurance documents.