The best qualities in an ideal personal injury client can be summarized by four traits:
Number 1: A client who is truthful in all things and is open and honest about all things.
A client who tries to game the system or withhold information from their doctor and/or lawyer harms their case more than they can imagine. Believe me the insurance company and defense lawyer will find out this information and when they do, the client's credibility will be shot. Personal injury cases are all about credibility.
Number 2: A client who keeps their doctors appointments.
Unfortunately, some clients are far more concerned with the outcome of their lawsuit, or how much money they're going to get, than a simple thing like keeping their medical appointments. When clients fail to keep their medical appointments, it sends the message to those who are looking at the medical records that they do not care about themselves or their claim.
Juries do not tolerate plaintiffs (injured folks) who do not make their best effort to recover from their injury and the worst thing that a plaintiff can do is to miss medical appointments. The jury will always hold it against you.
Number 3: A client who takes their case seriously and invests their time into their case.
Some clients believe that all they have to do is hire a lawyer, sit home, and eventually collect money for their claim. In 2015, this is not true. An attorney/client relationship is a partnership and requires effort by all.
Some clients refuse to take the time required to prepare for important parts of their case, like their deposition, which is one of the most important acts they will do in their case. In most cases, I have a three-step (day) deposition preparation schedule. This takes time and effort but the work put into the process will pay dividends during their deposition.
Actions speak louder than words, if you don't have the time or desire to prepare fully for your deposition or your trial testimony, then your case is simply not that important to you. PREPARATION IS THE KEY!
Number 4: Clients who do not smoke.
Juries and doctors can't stand smokers, and will use this information to support a low or zero verdict. Sometimes insurance companies will hire investigators to take video, just to find the injured person doing activities like smoking, because the insurance company knows it will cut against the injured person's claim.
While smoking is highly addictive and a habit that is hard to kick, jurors have no patience for smokers. If you smoke, the message to the jury is “I'm here making a claim for my health but I really don't care about my health.” I've heard out of the mouth of jurors, if your client really cared about herself she wouldn't smoke. I've seen in my client's medical records, the doctor writes the reason my client is healing or having a problem after the surgery is because he/she smokes. So it begs the question, if you don't care about your health, why should the jury care about your health?
All personal injury victims have to remember that if they are making a claim, their life is in a fishbowl; everybody is looking in and passing judgment.
If you would like to speak to a Michigan City personal injury attorney about your claim, call (219) 874-4878.