6 Important Details You Must Tell Your Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured and have decided to file a personal injury claim, you should consult with an Ohio personal injury lawyer. Statistically, it is estimated that each year there are approximately 400,000 personal injury cases. Fortunately, only around four to five percent of these cases go to trial as most choose to settle outside of court. Even still, without an experienced lawyer, you will lack the guidance and resources to maximize your recovery.
Regardless of your situation, you must be upfront with your injury lawyer to reach a favorable settlement. If you’re unaware of the most important things a personal injury lawyer needs to know, our knowledgeable attorney has compiled an overview of the top six details you must disclose so you can get the best outcome possible for your case.
A Strong Attorney-Client Relationship Is Vital
An open and productive attorney-client relationship is crucial to you understanding the likely outcomes of your case and obtaining the best outcome possible. That’s why honesty and clear communication with your lawyer will positively impact your case as all pertinent information that could affect your case will be disclosed. Below are a few details the legal team at The Henry Law Firm believe are vital for you to tell your lawyer when discussing your case.
1. If You Have A Pre-Existing Injury
You must let your lawyer know about any pre-existing injuries on the same part of your body that you are claiming for your case. Insurance companies almost always argue that your injury relates to a prior condition, so your attorney should know whether there is any support for this defense. However, having a pre-existing injury does not mean that you won’t attain compensation or that your case isn’t worth anything.
An insurance company will likely find out that you have a pre-existing injury, especially if you file a lawsuit. However, with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can still build a solid case. We will analyze your past medical records and establish the key differences between your old and new injuries.
If your old injury had recovered before you gained a new injury to the same body part, we can still seek compensation on your behalf. Even if you had not fully recovered from a prior injury when you aggravated or exacerbated that injury in a recent incident, you are entitled to compensation for the worsening of your injury. Your attorney must know about prior injuries early so they can work to build support for its worsening.
2. If You Have Been Re-Injured
It is incredibly crucial that you discuss with your attorney if you have suffered an additional injury since your accident. In some cases, opposing counsel could claim that you are seeking compensation for damages not sustained during your accident.
Your attorney will not dispute the opposing counsel’s claims if they are unaware that you were injured since the accident you are claiming for. Should your lawyer know about your recent injuries, they can attain the information they need to demonstrate that you are only claiming for the damages you incurred in the accident.
3. Your Criminal History
Because, with very few exceptions, everything you tell your lawyer is confidential – it is important to lay all your cards on the table. Disclosing prior criminal and felony convictions is vital. People make mistakes, and having a record will not preclude you from having a successful case. Ultimately, your case is valued on the nature and extent of your injuries and the likelihood of proving liability.
However, your criminal history could be a focal point for opposing counsel during trial. Most insurance companies conduct background checks and use your prior criminal history against you by using the information to discredit you.
When you tell your lawyer about your criminal history, they can formulate for your case better and prepare you for the questions you will likely be asked.
4. Whether You Have Any Prior Claims
If you have had previous insurance claims, whether they are injury claims or not, it’s important to tell your lawyer. Failing to disclose prior insurance claims could be detrimental to your current personal injury claim.
Insurance companies and attorneys have access to years of your medical records as well as your claims history. Do not let the insurance company have more information about your past than your lawyer.
5. If You Are Getting A Divorce
It might not seem important, but you need to tell your lawyer if you’re in the process of getting divorced. You also need to tell your lawyer if you are considering getting divorced while your case is ongoing. Depending on your relationship with your spouse, your attorney may not want your spouse to be part of the trial.
An attorney won’t want a spouse on the stand who will speak badly about you and harm your case. Additionally, a divorce could affect your settlement. You might have to divide your compensation between you and your spouse.
6. If You Have Filed For Bankruptcy
Many believe it isn’t important to disclose whether they have filed for bankruptcy during a personal injury claim, but it is. A settlement can easily become part of an estate, so creditors could take the money won to pay off debts. If you fail to disclose your ongoing bankruptcy, your injury (or other civil) claim could become barred. If you are going through or intend to file bankruptcy, you must let your attorney know.
We can work with bankruptcy lawyers to try and most likely secure you a significant portion of the compensation you receive.
Contact a Qualified Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are ready to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should speak with an Ohio personal injury attorney. By telling an attorney from The Henry Law Firm these essential details, you will build a stronger case and have a higher chance of attaining compensation.
We will work with you every step of the way to try and alleviate your financial struggles while you focus on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free no-obligation consultation with our experienced personal injury attorney.