There are many important elements of a personal injury claim, including the cost of the victim’s medical treatment, evidence from the scene of the crash and insurance policy limits to name a few. One element of an injury claim that sometimes gets less attention is the credibility of the victim.
Your credibility is critical to the success of your injury claim. A credible person is one who is more likely to be trusted and believed. It is harder for insurance companies to deny or underpay a claim filed by an injured victim with strong credibility.
Some of your credibility is based on your words and actions following the accident. Your past statements and actions also have an impact on whether you come off as believable and trustworthy.
If you were injured in an accident and have questions about protecting your claim, call the Windsor-based personal injury lawyers at Greg Monforton and Partners. If we determine you may have a case, you can meet with a lawyer in a free consultation. Our legal services come with no upfront fees.
Questions after a personal injury? Call today for assistance: (866) 320-4770.
Why Your Credibility Matters
Each situation is different, so it is difficult to make general statements about the outcome of injury cases. However, when an injury victim is considered credible, he or she is often more likely to recover more compensation compared to a victim who is not considered credible.
While credibility is important in an insurance claim, it may be even more important in the courtroom. One of the considerations that will impact a jury’s decision is the credibility of the victim. Credible victims are more likely to garner sympathy from a jury.
In an insurance claim, it is going to be much more difficult to deny or underpay if the victim has strong credibility. The insurance company may still make things difficult, but in the end, they may be more likely to agree to your settlement demand because they do not want to go to court.
Factors That Play into an Injured Victim’s Credibility
When you file an injury claim, the insurance company is going to look for any reason to diminish your credibility, such as:
- Past criminal activity, including arrests or convictions
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug abuse
- Proof that you have lied in the past
- Debt and other financial problems
- Traffic citations, if you were injured in a car crash
- Filing numerous insurance claims within a short period
- Documented history of fraud
- Driver license suspensions
Even though these things may have had no bearing on the accident in which you were injured, the insurance company is likely to try to use these things against you.
For example, if you are struggling financially, the insurance company is likely to say that is the reason you are seeking compensation, not your injury. If you were involved in a car accident but have a history of alcohol use, or you have a long list of traffic citations, the insurance company may say you are at fault for the collision.
You may have had good reason to file numerous insurance claims in a short period. However, the insurance company you deal with after an accident may say you are trying to commit insurance fraud to obtain money.
What to Do if Your Past Actions Hurt Your Credibility?
If there are things in your past that you think could hurt your injury claim, make sure to inform your lawyer. While the insurance company is sure to use things like prior arrests or financial struggles against you, you should still be able to recover compensation if you have a valid case. A lawyer can explain why these aspects of your past do not have any bearing on your claim for compensation.
At Greg Monforton and Partners, we know how to handle it when insurance companies try to use a victim’s past against him or her. This is one of the many benefits of working with an experienced lawyer with a history of results.
How Can I Strengthen My Credibility?
While your past impacts your credibility, the things you do and say after the collision can also affect your credibility. If you make inconsistent statements, wait to seek medical treatment, stop treatment, talk about the accident on social media, or disobey the doctor’s orders about physical activity, you may damage your credibility.
Not seeking medical care soon after the accident calls into question the seriousness of your injuries and whether you were even injured in the accident. If you stop seeking treatment, the insurance company is not going to want to award compensation for any more medical expenses you accrue.
Posting pictures on social media of your vacation or pictures of you having fun with friends or family gives the insurance company a reason to question if you are still injured. They may even want to deny compensation for medical expenses you have already incurred. The insurance company may also say you are not following your treatment plan, which means they are not liable for your damages.
The best way to avoid making inconsistent statements about the accident and your injuries is to allow your lawyer to talk to the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance company contacts you, limit what you say to the basic facts and refer them to your lawyer. An experienced lawyer will know how to protect your claim and make consistent statements about it.
Call to Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation
You might not think you need a lawyer but there may be many factors you have not considered. What if the insurance company makes a lowball offer and refuses to negotiate with you? What if your claim is denied?
At Greg Monforton and Partners, we are prepared for the insurance company to try to underpay or deny your claim. We have been helping injured victims in Ontario for decades and have helped countless victims obtain the compensation they needed.
No upfront fees or legal obligations. Call us today at: (866) 320-4770.