Things to Avoid While Your Personal Injury Case is Pending
Insurance companies are not your friend. No matter how nice and friendly an adjuster may be to you on the phone, they are NOT there to help you. Their job is to resolve the claim for as little money as possible, period. Here are three things to watch out for after you have been injured.
Talking About Your Case - DON'T DO IT!When you speak with your attorney, everything you say is privileged and confidential under the attorney-client privilege. But, when speak with a friend, relative, co-worker or medical provider about your case, they can be subpoenaed to testify about what you said. An injury can be a traumatic, life changing event in your life and you may feel like you want to discuss it with friends and family. DON'T DO IT!! If you talk to co-workers about your case, you can expect that those co-workers may be called to testify at the trial of your case. If you talk to friends about your case, you can expect to see those friends in court and the insurance attorney won't limit their questions to what you said about the case. The insurance lawyer will try to dig up any embarrassing, uncomfortable thing they can to hurt your credibility and character. If friends or family ask about your case, just tell them that your attorney is handling it, and you're getting along the best that you can.
Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social MediaSimilarly, in this age where people post anything and everything they are doing, thinking or feeling on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can be sure that insurance companies and their lawyers are mining the internet for anything they can find to weaken your case. Facebook posts and pictures can be taken out of context and destroy your credibility - even information posted before your injury can hurt you. For example, pictures of you and your family having a great time at the park or on the lake after a car wreck can give the impression that you aren't as hurt as you claim to be. While you may have sat on the park bench the whole time because of your injuries, a single picture or comment can be taken out of context and be used to persuade a jury that you are malingering about the extent of your pain. The best course of action is to avoid posting anything on social media sites until after your claim is resolved. We understand that your entire life doesn't stop just because you were injured, but you don't have to put your entire life on the internet either - at least not during the time that your case is pending.
Insurance Company SurveillanceBeware! Insurance companies can and do hire private investigators to secretly video tape you in public places like grocery stores, parks, and even in your own driveway. They are hoping to catch you in a lie - to get footage of you doing something that your doctor told you not to do (i.e. heavy lifting) or something you claim that you can't do (i.e. picking up your young child). While your case is pending, you should assume that everything you do is being videotaped. However, if you tell the truth and don't exaggerate your injuries, then it shouldn't be a problem!