From car accidents to slip and falls to unthinkably hot coffee burn lawsuits–personal injury victims are sometimes described as “too litigious,” a fancy word that means they’re overly eager to sue anyone over anything. Despite the taboos, filing a personal injury lawsuit when you’re hurt and winning a case is not as easy as many people think. The legal system is highly complex, requiring you to understand specific laws and deliver significant evidence to prove your case. Fortunately, specific characteristics can help you–the victim and plaintiff–win a claim and receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Let’s look at the top qualities of a good plaintiff and how to win a personal injury suit.
1. Be Honest and Credible
Telling the truth and being straightforward is necessary to win a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, sometimes, personal injury victims exaggerate the extent of their injuries because they think insurance companies only offer settlements to the most extreme cases. But that is a common misconception.
The reality is lying about your injuries to get a more significant payment can negate the entire claim and leave you with nothing to cover your legitimate medical bills.
To win a personal injury case, you also need to be honest about your medical and legal history, whether you think the details are relevant to your injuries or not. For example, if you suffered a football injury years ago or if you’re taking prescription antidepressants issued before the accident, you’re legally obligated to disclose this information. If you received a ticket for having a burned-out taillight, what good is it to insist otherwise? Covering up these details can only hurt your case because it will cause the defendant to question your character and your ability to be truthful. Honesty is the only policy to be eligible for the highest payment on your claim.
2. Be Likable
It’s normal to let your emotions affect your mood when you’re experiencing painful injuries due to someone else’s negligence. But it’s important to remember the common saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” We all prefer to be around pleasant people, and insurance adjusters, judges, and juries are no different.
To appear more likable, keep these tips in mind:
- Remain calm. While some cases are enraging, such as drunk drivers or abusive parents, most claims involve defendants who simply had a lapse in judgment, such as an elderly grandma who cuts you off in traffic or a nurse who was speeding because they were late for work. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should share friendship bracelets with the person who hurt you, but it’s essential to remain as calm, relaxed, and collected as possible.
- Act respectful. A little respect goes a long way, especially in formal meetings and courtrooms. So try to be polite when speaking to anyone involved in your case, including your opponent or insurance company. And avoid posting negative comments on social media—you never know who might read them.
- Avoid interrupting. It can be tough to sit quietly during a meeting or trial when you hear statements about yourself that you know aren’t true. When that happens, remember that you’ll get the chance to tell your side of the story soon enough. So it’s crucial not to interrupt, no matter how frustrated you feel. Staying calm will help make you more believable in the eyes of the judge.
3. Be Consistent
Insurance companies document every statement you make—and they will look for any reason to deny or devalue your claim. That’s why it’s critical to be consistent every time you describe the facts of the case. When insurance companies detect deviations or questionable points in your story–no matter how minor–they can use them to deny you compensation. For example, if your accident occurred in the rain, but you say you can’t remember turning on your window wipers, the court may question the validity of your entire claim.
To help keep you consistent, try these tips:
- Use clear, simple language.
- Don’t share more information than is asked.
- Don’t make assumptions about your injuries or accident.
- Write down and review what you plan to say.
- Take notes during calls and meetings.
- Discuss everything with your lawyer before speaking to insurers.
4. Be Relatable
Relatable people are, by definition, those you can identify with, which gives you a feeling of familiarity. You might think being relatable is like being born with charisma—either you have it or don’t. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even if you don’t think you have much in common with others, you can still cultivate the skill of being more relatable. This will undoubtedly help your chances of succeeding in receiving the maximum compensation you deserve.
Try these two tips to improve your “relatability factor”:
- Be yourself. It can be easy to slip into a different persona or perform in a way you think other people want to see you in a courtroom situation. True, you should be formal when discussing your case and answering questions, but you should also consciously show your true personality. To your surprise, others may relate to your character.
- Focus outward. When you focus too much on your issues, others may not be able to relate to you. That’s why it’s essential to try to focus on other people involved in the case. Also, try to be a good listener. In meetings or a courtroom setting, make eye contact during conversations and give people your full attention.
While it may seem common to win personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiffs who succeed display specific personality traits.
If you are honest, likable, consistent, and relatable, your chances of walking away with a generous settlement are much higher. Plus, when you hire a skilled personal injury attorney to guide you through a confusing legal process, you’re in an even better position to get the compensation you deserve.
The right attorney can help you gather the documents and evidence needed to support your case and verify the facts. KL Injury Attorneys has recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout Florida, and we take pride in making the process as easy as possible.
Have you been the victim of someone else’s negligence? It only takes a moment to get the ball rolling on your case. Call us today.