Here at Michaels & Smolak, our standard personal injury retainer agreement contains a phrase that basically tells the client, “shut up” (please). Clients are not supposed to speak with anyone about the case or the accident without our consent. Why?
First, it’s pretty obvious why you should not speak to the defendant or the insurance adjuster. After all, their interests are adverse to yours. But what about others? What about that friendly neighbor of yours? Why shouldn’t you talk to him about your New York personal injury case?
Let’s say, for example, you tell your neighbor all about how your accident happened and all about your medical treatment since the accident. The insurance company thinks you’re faking or exaggerating, so they hire an investigator to snoop around the neighborhood. By that time your neighbor is mad at you for having called the police when he kept throwing loud parties. Now your neighbor “remembers” you told him the accident was all your fault, and you are not really hurt anyway. And that’s what he tells the investigator.
If you had told your neighbor nothing about the accident, he could not have “remembered” wrong. Now a jury is going to have to decide whether to believe what you say you told him or what he says you told him.
This may seem like a far-fetched example, but it brings home the point: The more people you talk to about your case, and your accident, the more likely it is that someone will misremember what you told them.
Why take the chance? Play your hand close to the vest. Don’t give anyone any reason to say you said something you did not say. Talk to your own New York personal injury lawyer about the case. But mum’s the word with everyone else.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.