Be Truthful to Your Lawyer
Since we began focusing my practice on personal injury law, we have met with countless clients to assist them in obtaining justice for their serious injuries. Whenever we begin an attorney-client relationship with a new client, we always start by requesting the same thing from each client: "Tell me everything. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Pretend like we are your Priest, Rabbi, or whomever you go to for spiritual support. Everything you tell us is confidential. Whatever it is that is in your past, let us know now. We can fix just about anything so long as we are prepared." The reason we say this is simple - the insurance companies know more about you than you know about yourself.
The importance of being honest with your lawyer cannot be overstated. Our job is not to judge you, but to help you. We want to know about your past. For example, we want to know whether you have previously been injured in another car accident or fall. Just because you had a prior accident does not mean that you cannot make a claim even if you re-injured the same body parts. However, your failure to disclose the prior accident/injuries will, more than likely, ruin your case for the below reasons.
The insurance companies share massive databases with one another. These databases contain information about every insurance claim that is made. Those people who are not affiliated with the insurance companies are not able to see the information contained in the databases. The databases have information about who was involved in the accident, how bad the property damage was, whether there were any injuries, whether any doctors were seen, and whether anyone obtained a settlement as a result of the accident. You can be sure that when a lawsuit is filed for your case (and even before that), the attorney for the insurance company will review the databases. The attorney will then request your records from each doctor listed in the database.
When an injury victim fails to inform his or her attorney of a prior injury, the consequences can be disastrous. During a lawsuit, each party generally has to answer Interrogatories. These Interrogatories are written questions that must be answered under oath. This means that you are swearing under the penalty of perjury that all of the information that you provide is correct. Just about all sets of Interrogatories ask whether or not the Plaintiff has been in a prior accident or whether he or she has prior injuries. The failure to disclose prior accidents or injuries may very well result in the filing of a Motion to Dismiss for Fraud. What this means is that the attorney for the insurance company will ask the judge to throw out the Plaintiff's lawsuit because he or she was not being truthful.
Englander Peebles is an experienced law firm located in Fort Lauderdale. We are committed to providing our clients with responsive legal representation throughout South Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, call us today at (954) 500-4878.