There are many things that factor into the success of a claim for compensation for car crash damages. One of the most important factors is the credibility of the crash victim. If the victim’s credibility is called into question, the insurance company may fight hard to avoid paying out on the claim.
Unfortunately, many crash victims do not understand how their credibility could be questioned. They do not understand how some of the things they do or say could be used against them.
That is why contacting an experienced attorney is so important for the protection of a car accident claim. Our attorneys work with injury victims every day and have secured millions in compensation on their behalf. We are prepared to guide you through every stage of the legal process with no upfront fees.
Schmidt Kramer. Licensed attorneys. Proven Results. Call (717) 727-1403.
Importance of Credibility in an Injury Claim
Injury victims who are seen as credible often recover more compensation than victims with poor credibility. This may be particularly true when a case goes to court, as juries are likely to be more sympathetic to a victim with strong credibility. We tend to believe people we trust as there is not much reason to suspect they are lying or concealing information.
Sometimes a victim’s credibility factors into an insurance company’s decision about whether to offer more compensation to attempt to resolve the claim. If the insurance company has evidence of inconsistent statements or a criminal history, it may feel more comfortable going to court.
However, even if a case does not make it to court, the victim’s credibility is an important factor in the success of the claim. Even though insurance companies are looking for some reason to deny or underpay claims, they may give in to an attorney’s compensation demands if the victim’s words and actions demonstrate strong credibility.
Car insurers will use a variety of excuses, no matter how flimsy, to deny a claim or make a lowball offer. Giving them a reason to doubt your credibility gives them a built-in excuse to make the legal process more difficult.
Factors That Establish Your Credibility
Credibility is defined as the quality of being trusted and believed in. There are many things that could cause others to doubt you and not trust you, including:
- Demonstrated history of lying or concealing facts
- History of alcohol or substance abuse
- Demeanor that causes people not to trust you
- Prior arrests or criminal convictions
In a car crash case, things like traffic citations, financial troubles and waiting to seek medical treatment could all have a negative impact on your credibility.
If you have received traffic citations the insurance company may say this indicates a history of reckless driving, which means you are at fault for the crash. If you have financial troubles, such as debt, the insurance company may say you only filed a claim to get money to help you with those troubles. Waiting to seek treatment makes it seem like you are not taking your injuries seriously. The insurance company may contrast this with statements you make about your injuries to attack your credibility.
It is important to talk to your Harrisburg-based vehicle accident attorney about anything in your past that may hurt your credibility. Your lawyer needs to know about these things so he or she can protect your claim. Your conversations with your attorney about your case are protected by attorney-client privilege so they are confidential.
What Can You do to Bolster Your Credibility?
Fortunately, there are things you can do to strengthen your credibility during the legal process. While you cannot change your past, you can take steps to show how seriously you are taking your medical treatment and your claim for compensation.
Some of these steps include:
- Getting to the hospital as soon as possible so your injuries can be diagnosed – when your first meeting with a doctor is several hours or days later, insurance companies get suspicious
- Referring the insurance company to your attorney, as you could say something that hurts your claim
- Not discussing your injuries with the insurance company or posting about them on your social media profiles
- Call a lawyer as soon as possible so he or she can manage your claim – experienced lawyers know how to protect claims from insurance companies looking to deny them
- Continuing your medical treatment as requested by your doctor, as missing appointments makes it seem like you are all better or your injuries are not that serious
- Avoiding activities your doctor tells you to avoid, otherwise you could aggravate your injuries and if the insurance company finds out they can use this against you
Contact Schmidt Kramer to Discuss the Legal Process
You may be unsure about contacting an attorney, but Schmidt Kramer does not charge upfront fees. There is also no obligation to work with our firm after an initial consultation.
We have helped numerous crash victims recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. This includes a $2.2 million verdict for the widow of a crash victim.
We are ready to help you with the legal process. Call (717) 727-1403.