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I have an injury lawsuit, will my own attorney do a background check on me for other past lawsuits for dates i cannot remember

Montgomery, NY |

i was in a car accident 20 or more years ago and its very foggy i cant remember much about it, although i did tell him that, he told me not to worry just makes me nervous

thank you all for your help. I remember just going to the doctors, once or twice. I also remember I had to go to an office to speak to an attorney, and i really dont know if it was a deposition or not. I do also remember getting a check for around $2000 or so. I looked up online to see if there was any court info and found out it was "disposed in 1997. What does that mean, and can I find any other info? thanks for your help, sorry for all the questions

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Attorney answers 5


I would not be worried about your attorney doing the check. Your attorney could, if he felt like spending the money on it and thought there was reason for concern. He would be doing it to protect you. But you can be certain the insurance carrier will.

However, an accident 20 years ago would not harm you unless you injured the same body parts in the recent accident. Further, even if you had some minor injury to that body part, it would not be relevant if you have not had pain in the body region since that time.

You need to be more specific about your prior accident. Did you sustain an injury; did you receive medical treatment for that injury; and to what extent?

Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.


Your attorney has an ability to do a check. By don't worry about it he could mean either he will do the check or he doesn't think its an issue in the case because it is so long ago.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


While not a "background check", a lot of attorneys will conduct a search to see if there were prior lawsuits filed. It is good practice to do so. However, even if your attorney doesn't, you can rest assured that the insurance company and defense lawyer will. For that reason alone, it is important that you give an accurate history of your accidents, injuries and claims to the attorney. If one withholds information from his attorney, and the attorney relies on that misinformation, it can make both the attorney and the claimant look bad to the insurance company from which you ultimately seek recovery.

The information provided herein is not intended to be legal advice, but is for information purposes only and is based on the limited information provided. Any information provided is not intended to, and does not, create any attorney/client relationship where none exists.

Gregory Scott Gennarelli

Gregory Scott Gennarelli


In regards to your follow up, the Court could mark the case "Disposed" if it was settled, dismissed (by way of a motion) or taken to verdict. In order to find additional information about your prior case, you can do one of two things. First, you could call your old lawyer who may have details, and/or electronic documents, from your prior case. In the alternative, you can go to the County Courthouse where your case was filed and ask the clerk to review your file. Good luck.


Unfortunately with the passage of time all of our memories start to fade. A thorough investigation into your past medical history is an important aspect of representing you properly. This includes a search of any prior filed claims, but more importantly, a search of your medical records. It is crucial to your case to have an assessment of your physical condition to determine if the recent accident aggravated a prior condition or caused the problems from which you are now suffering. Insurance companies have access to a database so that they can track you and all prior claims. So in order to avoid surprises your attorney should conduct a thorough investigation to maximize your recovery through negotiations from a better position.
The depth and manner of the investigation varies from attorney to attorney. If you are concerned about your attorney, then schedule a meeting and find out what the litigation plan is for prosecuting your case. If you are not satisfied, then look around because there are plenty of attorneys who will be more than happy to assist you. I provide free consultations for situations such as these, and my usual recommendation is to give your attorney another shot. If you are still not satisfied, then I can help you fight for what you deserve.


We attorney's run checks on everybody, but auto claims history is not the easiest to get. Insurance companies have more ready access to claims history. Something 20 years ago is not my first worry. Follow your lawyer's lead on this information. It is good to have a lawyer early because an insurance company taking your recorded statement might ask you about things you have forgotten and then use those answers against you as if you have been dishonest. Bottom line, if you can't remember, that makes you like the rest of us: human. Don't worry. Let your lawyer handle it. That's why you hired them! Good luck.

The answer provided by counsel in the AVVO forum is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information is opinion only and given free of charge without full understanding of all facts and the law applicable to any question-poster's individual circumstances. The best advice is to take the question from this volunteer forum to a more formal communication with a practitioner in the specialty area indicated by the nature of the claim.

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