Having an accident or injury due to another person's negligence is inconvenient to say the least. It can also be very time consuming and expensive. Many times the injured party is unable to work, which means bills continue to pile up. It's natural to want to move your case along quickly. But, slow down...your attorney wants you to know that your good intentions and mistakes can hurt your case.
The "Don'ts" of Working With a Personal Injury Attorney
Hopefully, before hiring a personal injury lawyer—such as one from Vaughan & Vaughan—you researched his/her qualifications and experience. If you've done your job properly, you should be able to put your trust in your attorney to do a good job on your case. Remember, a win for you is a win for your lawyer.
There are some things that clients do that can harm their case, or even kill it. These are the things that can make your attorney want to scream and reach for the pain medicine. And, these are the "Don'ts" your lawyer wants you to know:
- Don't Lie: Your attorney needs to know the truth...the whole truth. By intentionally or unintentionally leaving out details, or not giving accurate information, your lawyer cannot fully represent you. Remember, the other party or insurance carrier also has an attorney that will be working twice as hard to see if you've been honest. Covering your lies gets harder as the case goes along. And, it can lead to criminal penalties in some circumstances.
- Don't Make Life Changes Without Letting Your Attorney Know: Moves, marriages/divorces, job changes, and other life changes are important information. Be sure to keep your attorney in the loop so there are no surprises.
- Don't Tell Your Story to the World: Your attorney wants you to keep your case private and refer questions to him/her. By telling anyone and everyone who will listen about your case, you may disclose something that can hurt your chances of a ruling or settlement in your favor. Yes, this includes social media posts and photos!
- Don't Become a Nuisance: Yes, you should feel comfortable calling your lawyer's office with questions or concerns. However, calling multiple times a week to ask about the status of your case is wasting the attorney's (and his/her staff) time. Your attorney wants the best outcome for you. Be patient.
- Don't Throw Away Case-Related Documentation: Keeping receipts, medical records, correspondence, and wage/work-related information can be critical to your case. Even physical evidence such as empty prescription pill bottles may be helpful. Many documents can be recovered or replaced but it requires additional time and effort.
- Don't Fall for the Other Party's Sweet Talk or Scare Tactics: In an attempt to get you to release information they want, or to get you to settle, the other party's representatives may pressure or sweet talk you. Don't fall for it. Calmly explain that you have legal representation and they should speak with your lawyer.
- Don't Ignore Your Attorney's Advice: Your attorney can only give you advice, but you have to listen and follow.
Maintaining good communication and following your attorney's advice is the best thing you can do to help your case. Do follow the "Don'ts".