Lawyers hate surprises. Most of all, we hate to be surprised by a fact we should have known previously. When we represent a client, we like to believe that we know everything that is essential about the case. It’s important to be confident that we understand exactly what happened during the client’s auto accident or injury case. And it’s even more important to know our client’s health history before that injury ever occurred.
When we learn a new detail at the last minute, it may require a very different approach as to how we will try to persuade the judge or jury to compensate our client in the manner he or she deserves. Of course, at that point, there simply may not be enough time to frame the case in another way. The end result may be that our client gets less than the full, fair compensation he or she deserves for their injuries.
Don’t Try to Cover up Your Previous Injury History
It should go without saying that you must answer all your lawyer’s questions fully and truthfully. But you shouldn’t limit communications with your lawyer merely to answering their questions; you should feel free to volunteer information that you think is important. Once you have hired an attorney to represent you, it’s important that you share with him or her any details that you might think may have a bearing on your case. Don’t restrict yourself to information about the recent circumstances that are the subject of your Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit—make sure to mention anything else that you believe may have a bearing on your case.
One of the key issues that ought to be discussed is your previous injury history. Your attorney should know any of the following:
- If you have ever been involved in a injury resulting in a claim or lawsuit before;
- Whether you ever filed a lawsuit or received a settlement for injuries in a previous accident;
- Whether you have ever complained to your family physician or any other doctor about any pain or discomfort the body part injured in the present claim – even if the pain was minor;
- If you ever sustained a sports injury or an injury at home;
- If you ever sustained an injury at work whether or not connected with a claim or lawsuit;
- The names and contact information of any physicians you complained to about your pain or problems;
Many clients are reluctant to share this information. They may believe that their previous injury history is not relevant to their current case, or they may be embarrassed by some private facts in their personal health history. Many believe that the record of their prior injuries won’t come up in their court case.
In fact, a previous history of injuries or pain can easily become a key issue in your current case. The defendant’s attorney may argue that because of your history of injuries or pain, your current complaint were not caused by the recent car crash but instead by one of your prior accidents.
Your lawyer will be able to refute all these arguments effectively if he knows what to expect. Do not try to conceal your past health and injury history. Tell your attorney everything—it will make your case even stronger.