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Be Human—Don't Worry...We All Are

Posted by: Chad Hemmat | Tuesday, December 09, 2014 | 0 Comments | Back to Personal Injury Blog

personal injury treating doctorWould you like me to have the perfect answer to every question, or would you like for me to give you the most honest answer I can give you? My guess is most clients would think my answer would be, "I want you to have a perfect answer for every question," but in truth, I'd rather you'll be honest, and I want to give you permission during the life of your auto accident case to do one more thing, be humans. Humans are perfect, humans make mistakes, humans have a misconception things sometimes, humans don't always say everything perfectly.

If I had my choice of the most honest client, or the client who could give us the perfect answers for the perfect personal injury case, I would take honesty every time, and here's why. Nobody is going to give the perfect answers to all of the questions in their case, and anyone, in my experience, who tries to give the perfect complete answers to every single thing that might come up in the case is probably going to look incredible to an insurance company. I would rather you not have a 100 answers for why the police officer in identify injuries at the scene of the accident. I would rather you not have a very detailed explanation as to how you laid it out for the police officer how injured you were, but that he was distracted by something and that must be why it doesn't get mentioned.

That might sound to you like the perfect answer, but to an insurance company, it sounds like rationalizing, and it sounds like deception. I'd rather you say, "You know, I looked at the back of the car after this crash and I could hardly see anything other than a little bit of bumper damage. And so I'm going to be honest with you, it didn't look to me like anything I should really be complaining about. And you know what? As I looked back on it, I probably was stiff and sore, but I was so relieved that I didn't get more hurt in the car crash, and frankly, I was so relieved that my car wasn't that damaged, and I could drive home, that I was more concerned about that. So yeah, I'm sure I told the police officer I was fine."

Somewhere along the line, clients get the idea that the only way their case has value is if they continue to complain that the injuries persist long, long time down the way, so that if we see you in two years after the accident, it would be usually in clients minds that the perfect answer would be to say, "And I still have that level of pain in all the parts of my body that I had at the time the car crash." Let me allow you to be human in your case, and at every opportunity you have to think about, "Should I give the human answer, the honest answer, or a perfect rationalization?"

I would suggest you go with the human answer, and the reason is that at the end of the day, it is highly likely that your case in personal injuries going to settle at some point, most cases settle.

They settle at a rate, at a level where the insurance company feels comfortable that they're offering you an amount that is going to be equal to or less of what the jury is going to forward you. They're always trying to figure out whether you're going to be pleasant and receptive in the way you present to a jury, and honesty is truly in our industry probably the best policy. If you were certain that part of your problems stem from having low back pain you've had for years and years, thinking you're going to pull one over on the insurance company by saying, "Truly, all of my injuries came from this car crash."

Isn't going to work, but it will do is attack your credibility, and it actually might be the reason why a case that could otherwise settle goes to trial, and it might be the reason why you ended up getting a defense board. I have looked back on a career, it's almost 25 years as a trial lawyer, and I do not believe to a single case that I've ever tried successfully. I think the one overarching team as I'm sitting there on day one of trial saying, "What am I have to look forward to?" In those cases where I said to myself the one thing they can't say about my client is that he's dishonest in anything he said, he's been a straight shooter.

I can attribute nearly every successful jury outcome to the honesty of my client, and I can attribute nearly every successful settlement to that same thing. Honesty is the best policy, being human is better than being perfect, and giving honest answers I think is the difference in a case like this. For more information, contact us at 303-782-9999.


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