If you are hurt in a car wreck or other injury accident, that traumatic event becomes a part of your life story. The process of obtaining compensation requires you to tell your story to insurance companies and judges — and sometimes, even a jury — to convince them that the law entitles you to compensation.
But they will not award you compensation unless they find the facts of your story to be believable. To succeed with any personal injury lawsuit, the evidence, witnesses, and your own testimony must be credible.
Factors Affecting Credibility
A lack of credibility can lead an insurance company to deny your claim and a judge or jury to decide your case against you.
Every person is different, so what one judge or jury finds to be credible may not be credible to another judge or jury. In general, though, these tips are what most people look for in deciding whether your claim for damages should be believed:
Does Your Claim Match Objective Evidence?
If there are aspects to your story that are contradicted by other facts, those contradictions can weigh against finding your story credible.
For example, if you claim you were traveling the speed limit at the time of the crash, but your car’s computer shows you going 20 miles per hour over the limit, your credibility will be negatively impacted.
Do You Have Ulterior Motives or a History?
If a judge or jury believes that you have the incentive to lie or exaggerate, or if you have done so in the past, then they will have a more difficult time believing you in the present. They may demand additional evidence that corroborates your claim.
Does Your Claim Make Sense?
A judge or jury may have a hard time believing your claim if the facts seem too incredible to believe. This could include situations where your injuries are especially severe after a low-impact crash, or where the at-fault party acts in a cruel or unusual way.
How to Present a Credible Personal Injury Case
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you present a credible case. Your attorney will be able to see the parts of your claim that judges and juries may have trouble believing and can help you support your claim appropriately.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a personal injury accident in the Portland/Vancouver metro area, contact the Harlan Law Firm to set up a free consultation today.