Issues that Can Sink Your Case.Here are what I consider to be the Five Deadly Sins that can wreck your personal injury claim. These sins are based upon my experience and discussions with many judges and jurors.1. The Client is Referred by the Lawyer to a Doctor.
Local judges call this "service" the kiss of death to a claim. The problem is that jurors are highly suspicious of lawyers and doctors who have a referral relationship. While the client may not know how many of that lawyer's clients have been referred in the last 12 months to a particular doctor, you can bet that the insurance company knows it or will find out about it. How credible do you think that doctor's testimony will be when the jury finds out that he treated 50 patients from the same lawyer last year? Are there exceptions to this rule? Yes, there are. You may have a very special need for a doctor with a special expertise. It is perfectly legitimate for the attorney to make a suggestion or recommendation.
If every client though, is getting referred to the same chiropractor or the same orthopedist, then that is a huge problem. (So beware of the attorney who has a stack of doctor/chiropractor cards in his office. You need to ask the right questions and fully understand the business relationship, if any, between that attorney and the doctor.).2. Hiding Past Accidents From Your Lawyer.
Once you begin a case, the other side will be interested in knowing how many past accidents you have been in. The reality is that they probably already know the answer or have easy access to that information. All insurance companies subscribe to insurance databases and often the only reason they ask you this question is to test your credibility. If you have been in other accidents, your lawyer can investigate this and make a determination as to whether this is a valid problem in your case or not.
If you do not tell your lawyer, however and you misrepresent your accident history to this insurance company, then it is almost guaranteed that you will lose your case.3. Hiding Other Injuries.It goes without saying that you should be upfront and honest with your attorney about any injuries that occurred before or after this accident. Again, if you saw a doctor or other healthcare provider, then there is a record in existence that the insurance company will find. Your lawyer can deal with this if he knows about it.
If you lie about it, and the insurance company finds out, then your case is over.4. Not Having Accurate Tax Returns.In most cases, a claimant will have lost income.
You will only be able to claim that lost income if your past tax returns are pristine. Again, being honest with your attorney is the only way to be, because he or she can deal with the problem if they know about it.5. Misrepresenting Your Activity Level.Insurance companies routinely hire private investigators to conduct videotape surveillance. If you claim that you cannot run, climb or stoop, and you get caught on videotape, you can forget about your claim.
There is no explanation (other than "You got my brother, not me!") that can overcome the eye of the camera..Attorney Oginski has been in practice for 16 years as a trial lawyer practicing exclusively in the State of New York.
Attorney Oginski decided he could best serve his clients by opening his own office for the practice of law in cases dealing with injured victims of medical malpractice and accident cases. As of September 1, 2002, Attorney Oginski has been a solo practitioner, and the name of his firm is: The Law Office of Gerald M. Oginski, LLC." Having his own law firm, he is able to provide the utmost in personalized, individualized attention to each and every client.
In our office, a client is not a file number. Client's are always treated with the respect they deserve. Consultations are always free and totally confidential.
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By: Gerry Oginski