Maintaining Your Credibility When Seeking Injury Compensation
How important is a crash victim’s credibility while seeking compensation for medical bills and other damages?
Here is one way of looking at it: Insurance adjusters who think a judge and jury would find a crash victim to be believable and trustworthy may be more likely to offer fair compensation and settle quickly. If you are not seen as credible, the insurance company may have more reason to drag its feet or offer less money.
Your credibility is based on many factors, including:
- What you say and do after the crash
- Whether different statements you made contradict each other
- Your social media posts
- Whether other evidence may disprove your earlier statements
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Claim’s Value
The best approach for protecting your claim is to be cautious about what you say and do after being injured in a collision.
For example, you do not need to provide a wordy or detailed statement to the insurance company. You can simply say you were in a crash and were injured. You can say also where and when the crash occurred. The insurance company will investigate the crash and can also refer to the police report for additional information about what occurred.
All your statements will be reviewed and compared by the insurance company to find where you may have contradicted yourself. Another way insurance companies may look to damage your credibility is by comparing your statements to other evidence, such as video footage of the crash or eyewitness interviews.
Avoid stating opinions about the crash or describing how you are feeling or were feeling before it happened. For example, avoid saying things like, “I was in a rush.” Maybe you were in a rush, but if another driver was negligent, your being in a rush may not have been a factor in the crash.
Even if you avoid making these kinds of statements, the insurance company may claim you are to blame for the crash. There is no sense in giving them more information that could very likely be used against you.
Avoiding Social Media
You may have heard that it is important to avoid posting anything related to your crash, such as angry comments about the other driver, pictures from the crash scene or even general posts providing more details about what happened. While avoiding those kinds of posts is a good place to start, it is important to understand that even seemingly harmless posts could be damaging to your claim.
As an injured victim who is seeking compensation, you do not want to give the insurance company leverage by sharing posts that could be used to claim your injuries are not that serious.
Posting photos or status updates about the following could damage your credibility:
- Pictures of you on vacation
- Going out with friends on the weekend
- Playing sports
- Engaging in strenuous physical activity
It seems harsh, but insurance companies will do anything to protect their profits. A photo of you skiing or lifting your child at a birthday party will be viewed as “look, he has no pain and is happy.” There will be no photo of you later laying in the bed with ice or taking medications, so the photos will be interpreted without a buffer or counter photo showing the truth. In addition to avoiding social media posts about these activities, you want to be sure you are following your doctor’s orders about physical activity. There is a big difference between “I cannot do something….” versus “I can do something, but later I am in pain.” If you tell a doctor, or a doctor tells you, to not do something, then do not do it! To be clear, just be truthful. If you say you cannot lift 10 pounds, then do not lift 10 pounds. It is bad for your health, it is dishonest and could be viewed as insurance fraud
You may think you are protected if your profile settings are private, but insurance companies may still be able to find a way to view your profile. They may have an adjuster send a friend request, for example or if the case goes to litigation they ask a judge for your password to look at all of the previously private messages and photos.
Insurance providers have also been known to hire private investigators to follow crash victims to see if they are following doctor’s orders or doing anything that makes it look like their injuries are not that serious.
Other Factors Impacting Victim Credibility
While your actions after the crash have a major impact on your credibility, other past events that could work against you include:
- Past driving citations
- Substance use issues
- Documented history of being dishonest with insurance companies
You can be sure insurance providers will search for anything in your history they can use against you. That is why you should seriously consider hiring an experienced Bloomington car crash lawyer to help you protect your claim.
Partial Fault for Car Crashes in Minnesota
Insurance providers are looking for anything they can use against you not just to try to deny your claim. If they can prove you were partially at fault, they can reduce the value of your compensation award. This is because of Minnesota’s comparative negligence law.
You can learn more about how this law may impact your claim in a free consultation with a licensed attorney from our firm.
Learn How TSR Injury Law May be Able to Help You
Hiring an experienced lawyer to deal with the insurance company and explain how you can protect your claim is a great way to maintain your credibility.
At TSR Injury Law, our attorneys deal with insurance companies every day, and we have obtained tens of millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. We know how they may try to discredit you and reduce the value of your claim.
Schedule a free legal consultation to find out how we are prepared to manage the legal process on your behalf, allowing you to focus on treatment and recovery.
Injured in a crash? Call TSR Injury Law at: (612) TSR-TIME