One of the things I have seen people do nowadays that has derailed and has harmed many people’s cases is they go online and they discuss their case on Facebook. For example, it is not just Facebook, but Twitter and any of the other social media out there. They discuss the details of their case, the details of their accident with people that they consider their friends. And these folks probably are their friends, but unfortunately, maybe in the moment they are very mad about what happened to them and they say stuff that is actually damaging to their case. They are angry at the person who caused the accident and they say things in that anger that can be damaging to their case.
At first, they think that this is just a private conversation I am having with a group of my friends, but anytime you put anything out there on the internet, you are running a very large risk that it will get out to the public. Most importantly, if you put it out on one of these mediums I was just talking about, it can be used against you in the legal proceedings if you end up having to litigate the claim. They are using that more and more in cases that I have seen where the adjusters are actually looking at a person’s Facebook page and trying to see what it is that they are talking about and finding inconsistencies or finding outrageous statements.
Most of this is just a stream of thought from the plaintiff. And that is not really what they meant or what they really wanted to say or would say, but they are just spouting off to friends, family, relatives, and those things can come back to haunt you and completely destroy your case. The second thing is giving a recorded statement without the assistance of counsel has destroyed many cases. The third thing that I have seen happens most often is when you go to the doctor and you are not forthcoming to the doctor about what has happened to you in the past. They will ask you, have you ever had a back injury ever and you deny it wholeheartedly when, in fact, ten years ago, you fell at work and you hurt your back and you had a prior work comp claim.
You received a little bit of treatment, physical therapy, and you got better and then you forgot about it or you just did not really think much of it. The fact that you had that prior injury probably would not have had much impact on your personal injury case, where you injured your back in a serious automobile accident, but the fact that you lied about it in telling the doctor, no, you have never had any history of lower back problems, this not only undercuts your credibility with the doctor you are treating with, if he or she finds out that you did, in fact, have a prior back problem, but it also undercuts you with the insurance adjuster and then, ultimately, with the jury, if the jury ever finds out about it, that you were less than candid with your doctor about prior problems. I have told my folks not to fear prior injuries or problems. Be upfront. Be honest about it. If you are not honest and upfront about it, it will come back and haunt you and could very well destroy your case.
In Kansas, attorneys are allowed to take on personal injury claims through what is called a written contingency fee contract, and that contract basically says that if the attorney is unable to successfully conclude a settlement for you, or get a judgment for you, then they do not get paid any attorney fees. If they are successful in getting a settlement or a judgment worked out, then a percentage of that settlement or judgment is paid to the attorney for their efforts.
Our law firm takes on these cases all the time on a contingency fee and we front all of the expenses for the case so that the injured individual does not have to worry about the expense or expenses that need to be paid in order to keep the case moving and get it through the process. For example, the expense of getting medical records and getting reports from your doctor, these are all paid by the law firm. At the end of the case, we take a percentage of that settlement or judgment as our fee after the expenses are deducted from the settlement.
So attorneys are very affordable in this particular area of legal practice. You just have to be careful and be sure to get an attorney that is educated and will educate you about the process and help you maximize your recovery. But an attorney that is looking out for your best interest first is the attorney that you need to obtain for your personal injury case.