WHAT YOU SHOULD TELL AND NEVER HIDE FROM YOUR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
An attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable, and well-versed in handling a case they may ask some personal questions to their clients about their life. Sometimes, such information on one’s life can help them strategize the best approach in overseeing cases. Your attorney may also ask you personal questions and it’s very important to answer them. These questions may be regarding your:
Prior Illnesses or Injuries:
In a personal injury case, your opposing attorney will conduct a medical background check on you. So from the very start, you need to be upfront with your lawyer about any prior or current illnesses, including mental illnesses, that you’ve been diagnosed with.
Additionally, one may be needed to tell an emotional distress or any mental illness or any prior injuries or chronic injuries; even if you don’t believe they have anything to do with your current injury.
A defence attorney may try to connect prior or chronic injuries to your current injury. To defend such types of claim, attorney must know about all sorts of injuries and illness of his client.
Declaring bankruptcy may feel embarrassing for some but if filed for bankruptcy during your personal injury case, non-economic damages may become an asset of one’s estate. In simple words, any money received for “pain and suffering” may not go to you. It may go to your creditors.
Your Criminal History:
You must tell your personal injury attorney of any misdemeanors or felonies you’ve been charged with and/or convicted of in the past as the defence attorney may run a background check on you and your lawyer may be able to prepare you for questions that may be asked in order to maintain you as a trustworthy witness.
Divorce is also something many people simply don’t talk about. But if you’re in the middle of a personal injury case, and planning on a divorce, you should tell this to your lawyer as:
- your attorney may want to depose your spouse from the trial.
- if the decision to divorce was based on your injury which may be your inability to work, a change in your behavior due to such injury, your lawyer may be able to calculate this into your claim for emotional distress.
- your settlement may be subject to division between you and your spouse.
Working “Off the Books”:
Individuals who work off the books may not want to share this information, but it’s important that you tell your personal injury attorney if you do so.
If you don’t pay state or federal taxes for income which is “off the books”, it may be near impossible for your attorney to recover lost wages.
Medicaid or Medicare:
If you have Medicaid or Medicare, and your insurance paid for the medical bills associated with your injury, tell this to your personal injury attorney from the very beginning. As, your personal injury attorney will initially report to your insurer, and work around their time frames in order to get information on the lien.
If your personal injury attorney is experienced enough, they’ll likely ask you questions about these above mentioned subjects. It is very important to never withhold the truth from attorney even if it’s on a subject which is too personal. Keep in mind that attorneys are bound by law not to disclose client information until and unless required by the Rules of Professional Conduct or any other law in force.