If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you should know that the effect of the accident on your health won't be the only thing to determine your damage compensation. There are many aspects of your life, some of them not even related to your injury that will also play a role in your case. This is particularly true if your case ends up in front of a judge or jury. Here are some of these factors.
Your Criminal History
Your criminal history will play a significant role in your personal injury claim process or lawsuit. In general, having a criminal history will weaken your compensation demands, but there will be other factors at play. For example, you will have a hard time convincing the court that your claim and damages are genuine if you have been convicted of dishonesty-related crimes in the past, such as fraud.
Your Credibility in Court
Your credibility as a witness in your own case will also come into play. Your credibility is a measure of how easy it is for others--in this case, the court (judge or jury)--to believe you. For example, you are a credible witness if
- Any new testimony you make is consistent with your earlier testimony
- Your description of the events is accurate
- You are testifying to events of which you have a first-hand account
- You don't exaggerate your claims
How Likeable You Are
In a perfect world, the judge or jury wouldn't base your award on whether they find you likable or not. Since the world isn't perfect, you should expect your likeability to be one of the factors used to determine the size of the award you should get. Granted, this is likely to be more unconsciously than consciously done, but it is a factor all the same. That is why your injury lawyer will want you to be presentable in terms of your attire, use polite language, and be respectful to the court.
How Well the Court Understands Your Injuries
Even if you have fairly serious injuries, you may not get the compensation you deserve if the judge or jury can't understand your injuries. Most people find it easy to understand visible injuries or injuries to hard tissues. A limb fracture or a visible scar on the cheek, for example, may elicit more sympathy from the court than injuries to internal organs or soft tissue injuries. The more the court can understand your injuries, the easier it will be for them to award you the compensation you deserve. This is why it's a good idea to have an expert witness explain your injuries if they seem complicated.
For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer from a law firm such as Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.