The credibility of an injury victim is one of the most important aspects of a personal injury case. This is because the victim’s credibility may significantly affect the outcome of the case and how much compensation is recovered.
There are steps you may be able to take to preserve your credibility after an accident, but there are also things you can do to hurt your credibility. Our licensed injury attorneys in Fort Worth, TX know how to protect the credibility of victims. We have the resources and experience to guide you through the legal process and protect your claim.
Below, we discuss some of the actions that could help or hurt your credibility and how the insurance company will try to attack your credibility.
Credible Victims May be More Likely to Recover Maximum Compensation
When someone is trustworthy others are more inclined to believe what the person is saying. This is important when you are trying to prove someone else’s negligent actions resulted in your injuries.
A credible victim may be more likely to recover maximum compensation because the jury will most likely sympathize and believe the injury victim over the insurance company. On the other hand, a victim who does not come off as credible may have a harder time recovering compensation or recovering the full value of his or her claim.
What Makes Someone a Credible Accident Victim?
Consistency is one of the hallmarks of a credible injury victim. Someone who does not change his or her story about the accident and injuries suffered will be more credible than one who does.
Someone with a good driving record may also come off as a more credible individual, especially if the accident occurred in a way that liability is not immediately clear.
For example, if the accident occurred in a merge lane due to a lack of signaling from one driver. If you do not have tickets on your record for failure to use a turn signal, but the other driver does, the jury is most likely going to believe you over the other driver. This is because the other driver’s driving record may hurt his or her credibility.
A credible injury victim is also someone who:
- Is financially stable
- Lacks a criminal background
- Does not have a history of insurance fraud/lying
A person’s demeanor or appearance during certain parts of the legal process may also affect credibility. For example, if you need to show up for a deposition, you may be able to boost your credibility by dressing in a professional manner — no flip flops or torn jeans.
What Actions May Negatively Impact Victim Credibility?
The credibility of an accident victim can be negatively impacted by certain actions, such as if the person is caught in a lie. That is why consistency matters.
Posting certain things on social media may also hurt your credibility as an injury victim. Especially if you are posting about vacations or other activities you say your injuries are preventing you from engaging in.
Failing to adhere to your doctor’s medical advice could also hurt your credibility. If your doctor tells you to avoid certain workouts, but you continue to do them, a jury may not believe you suffered an injury.
How Do Insurance Companies Attack Victim Credibility?
The insurance company may employ several tactics to attack the credibility of an injury victim. Some of them may include:
- Hiring a private investigator to follow the injury victim around to catch the person doing something he or she claims is not possible due to the injuries from the accident.
- Digging through public records to try and uncover something in the injury victim’s records, such as significant debt or a criminal record.
- Scrolling through social media to try and use the information on the injury victim’s social media channels to contradict what the person is saying about the accident and his or her injuries.
If the insurance company can find something to contradict your claims, their strategy will be to try and bring this up during a deposition or in court.
Contact an Attorney Today
There are times when your actions could jeopardize your credibility through no fault of your own. Not every person has a spotless record. Sometimes the memories of an accident can be fuzzy. Fortunately, you may be able to protect the value of your claim with help from an experienced attorney.
Our attorneys are prepared to help you build a strong case and fortify your credibility after an accident.
We offer a free consultation. There are also no fees unless we win.
Call (817) 920-9000 for legal help.