Taking action with personal injury claims can seem simple, especially at first. However, going through the legal process for the very first time can raise questions because of your inexperience with the topic. Not only that, but you could be unsure of what is and is not acceptable; it becomes easy to say and do things that end up torpedoing your claim. If you notice that you're engaging in one or more of the below actions, it's time to stop and talk with your attorney.
Like most people, you likely have a lot of things going on in your life at any time. You might have already been dealing with mental illness, substance abuse or chronic physical problems before you ever filed a claim. You might have retained an attorney to help you with this particular case, but you may be reluctant or embarrassed to share those parts of your life that you don't feel have bearing on your current personal injury claim. You might be eager to be secretive and only disclose information you view as relevant.
If you do this, it's important that you realize you are putting your attorney in peculiar situation. The investigators that will be employed by the defendant's counsel are likely to find out all kinds of things about your habits and your past in order to disprove your claim; your own lawyer needs to be prepared for that so they can push back on your behalf. Even if you feel squeamish or sheepish about certain parts of your life, tell your attorney so that you don't sabotage yourself.
Chatting with the Defendant's Lawyer
You may wake up one day and get an urgent phone call from the attorney representing the person who caused your injury. They may have questions or inform you that a settlement amount has been reached. In an effort to put all of this behind you, you may listen to what they have to say, answer their questions and agree to some or all of the terms they put forward. This can put your entire claim at risk. The amount that they're offering could be much lower than you ought to be accepting or you could, by mistake, admit fault in some way. That's why it's critical to ignore all communications from any other lawyer but your own. Refer them to your own attorney if they need information.
If you aren't sure what you should be doing as you wait for the legal process to play out, at least avoid any actions like the ones above. If you have questions, reach out to the personal injury lawyer you've retained. For more information, contact a local personal injury lawyer such as James Lee Katz.