If you have been unsuccessful in settling your personal injury claims, you may be considering whether to proceed with taking your claims to court. Filing a lawsuit can lead to a favorable resolution of your claims, but it may require some sacrifice. Your personal injury lawyer in Rogers can tell you that you will have to give up a certain amount of privacy once you bring your claims to court. But your attorney will make sure that certain lines are not crossed.
Lawsuits mean a certain loss of privacy
The reality is, anytime you file a lawsuit in court you will necessarily lose a certain amount of privacy. The attorney who is representing the person you sued will have the right to ask you certain questions that may seem intrusive and irrelevant. For example, they can insist that you turn over your employment records, financial records, and medical records. While that seems like an invasion of your privacy, it is usually part of the process. There are limitations, however, which your personal injury lawyer in Rogers can make sure are enforced.
Issues involving lifestyle choices
It is not uncommon for an attorney defending a personal injury claim to use anything they can to criticize you or make you look bad. Anything that would possibly be derogatory will be used to affect the jury’s perception of you. So, things like your marital status or your career choice, for instance, may become an issue. Put another way, an exotic dancer may have more trouble than a school teacher when it comes to invasion into their privacy. Unfortunately, even if your job is perfectly legal, a defense attorney may still use that fact in an effort to turn the jury against you. The easiest way to combat this tactic is by carefully selecting your mode of dress and portraying your demeanor in a way that shows you are honest, upstanding and likable.
Beware the private investigator
In some cases, especially when the nature and extent of injuries are at issue, defense attorneys will hire private investigators to engage in surveillance in the hopes of proving you are faking or exaggerating your injuries. That is a common defense in personal injury cases that the injuries are not what the victim claims them to be. In order to prove that defense, they must obtain some type of evidence. So, you may find a private investigator parked outside your home or work, watching and recording you in an effort to show you are not being truthful about your injuries. So, it is necessary to avoid any behavior that might be construed as contradictory to your testimony.
The dangers of social media during litigation
There may be no need to send a private investigator out to spy on you. In many cases, social media provides all the ammunition a defense attorney would need. The wisest thing to do, once you have filed a personal injury lawsuit, is to stay away from your social media outlets until it is all over. The comments and pictures that you post on Facebook, for instance, can very easily be misconstrued as evidence that contradicts the legal claims you have made in your lawsuit. What most people don’t realize, a defense attorney doesn’t need to trick you into “friending” them. They can simply ask a judge to subpoena your Facebook information or to order you to provide access.
Loss of privacy is usually a small price to pay
Despite the feeling of being violated and the potential embarrassment, the possibility of winning a substantial settlement makes it worth the discomfort. In most cases, clients do not actually have anything terribly embarrassing to hide. The bottom line is, if you have been injured through no fault of your own, you should never let minor privacy concerns like these stand in the way of recovery. With your personal injury lawyer in Rogers representing you throughout the litigation process, you can make it through with little embarrassment and discomfort, in order to recover the damages to which you are entitled.
If you have questions regarding lawsuits or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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