If you have been injured by the negligence of another party and you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to inform your legal counsel of any other prior injury suits you have filed. The attorney for the defendant will make a discovery request for information regarding any previous personal injury lawsuits you have been (or are currently) a party to. All lawsuits are a matter of public record, so this information can be accessed by other parties at the court clerk’s office as well, so you are better off being honest and forthright in your disclosures.
Defense counsel may try to use evidence from your prior lawsuit to negatively impact your award of damages. Below are a few of the common tactics used:
· The defense attorney may claim that your injury was not caused by the new accident. In other words, it is an old injury that caused the current damages. This is often referred to as the new accident aggravating (not causing) an existing injury. The defense may try to get evidence from the previous lawsuit introduced into the current case. The old evidence may be admissible if there a connection with the injury suffered or there is a link between the defendants (such as the same employer is the defendant in both cases).
· Defense counsel may use prior lawsuits to support a claim that you have a history of filing personal injury claims just to get money. This argument is intended to take the focus away from your injury and shift focus to allegations that you are just trying to profit from the litigation.
· If the defendant cannot use prior lawsuits against you, he or she may try to challenge the credibility of your attorney. A personal injury lawyer’s reputation can be attacked by opposing counsel if there is a history of filing frivolous lawsuits or unsubstantiated claims. There are some law firms that are known for being “settlement mills.” If the defendant’s lawyer is aware your attorney is not willing or experienced in going to trial, you will likely get a low settlement offer.
If you have filed prior personal injury lawsuits and you are concerned with how it will impact your current case, let us help. Murphy & Garner has a reputation you can trust. Let us help you obtain full and fair financial compensation for your medical bills, damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office in Bremen, Georgia, at 678-563-1584 or e-mail us now for a free consultation.