If you have never worked with an attorney before, you may not understand how close and how personal the attorney-client relationship can be. You work with your attorney like a team. Your attorney is your advocate, counselor, and advisor. It is your job to make sure that your attorney has all the information he/she needs to represent you zealously.
Sometimes, that means telling your attorney things about yourself or the facts of your case that can make you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. These can be things about you and your life that you probably would rather your attorney did not know.
Rest assured that when it comes to an attorney’s representation of you in a personal injury case or in any case, he’s there to advocate for you—not to judge you. Many times that means your attorney needs to hear the worst. And it is far better that he learns it from you than from the other side or for the first time at trial.
Here are just 3 (there are, of course, many more) things that your personal injury attorney needs to know about you:
- Do You Have Past or Current Injuries or Illnesses?
One thing all personal injury attorneys need to know about their clients is whether they have injuries or illnesses other than the one(s) that is the subject of the lawsuit.
Because past illnesses or injuries will have an impact on the value of your case and the proof required to show that this accident/illness is responsible for your current condition.
Without question, the opposing counsel will be investigating your past and present mental and physical condition and any prior injuries/illnesses you may have had. So be sure to tell your attorney if you other injuries/illnesses—especially if you incurred any injuries after the current event that is the subject of your lawsuit.
Keep in mind that this is not limited to just physical problems. Many personal injury cases include claims of mental or emotional distress caused by the accident/incident. This means that you will need to tell your attorney whether you have been diagnosed at any time with any mental or emotional illnesses. While it may not feel comfortable to discuss your mental health with your counsel, it is important that you do so.
Another area that is very personal but which your personal injury attorney needs to know about is whether or not you have ever filed for bankruptcy. This is because a bankruptcy filing can have a direct impact on any recovery you may get in your personal injury case.
Depending upon when you file for bankruptcy, any settlement proceeds you receive from your personal injury action could become part of your bankruptcy estate and go to pay off your creditors—so it is very important for your personal injury attorney to know the status of your bankruptcy.
- Your Criminal Record.
It doesn’t get much more personal than telling someone about your criminal record. However, this is another area of your life that your personal injury attorney needs to know about in order to properly prepare your case.
While not every criminal charge or conviction may be relevant to your personal injury action, some may. Whether or not it is relevant is something your personal injury attorney must analyze and decide. It is also important for him/her to know about it because your criminal history can be used by opposing counsel in an effort to cast doubt on your credibility.
Your working relationship with your personal injury attorney is personal. While that means you may need to tell your attorney things about your personal life that you might feel uncomfortable talking about, keep in mind that the more your attorney knows about you and the facts of your case, the better he can prepare and the better the two of you can work together to plan your strategy.
We Fight Hard For Our Clients.
At the Day Law Group, we fight hard to get our clients the compensation they deserve. We offer FREE consultations and in most cases, we don’t get paid unless you win. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Denham, Gonzales, Port Allen, Prairieville, New Orleans, and Zachary. Call (225) 465-1232 ToDay to schedule your free consultation or contact us here.