If you have been involved in an auto accident, there are certain steps you should take to protect your privacy and your accident claim.
In a perfect world, you and your St. Louis auto accident lawyer could pursue compensation without you giving up any personal information. Unfortunately, this stress-free process is not realistic, as you must prove a variety of claims before obtaining your benefits. Still, you can use a variety of methods to protect your privacy as much as possible.
What Information Your Opponent Will Want
In the legal system, every claim and request must be backed up by documentation. The result is you having to give up a significant amount of information, no matter which side you are on. Some examples include pay stubs, tax returns, insurance policies, and medical records. The reason you have to give up these documents is that your lawsuit depends on them. For example, you might pursue compensation for lost wages. To do so, you must prove what your income is so the defense can calculate how much money you lost from missing work.
Further Information They Might Take
Information gathering doesn’t end with documentation, though. In some cases, an insurance company will choose to dig up even more. One example is a broad discovery request that goes deep into your finances or personal life. Another is hiring a private investigator, which insurance companies frequently do. What will happen in this case is a professional will look into your social media behavior and follow you around for some amount of time. If they catch doing something that will hurt your case, they will pounce on the opportunity to present it in negotiations.
How You Can Protect Yourself
While you will give up some level of information in your case, there are limits to what you have to provide. You can protect yourself in the following ways.
Hire a Lawyer – Car accident victims that don’t have any legal training often get taken advantage of. The reason is that they don’t know when a request is too much. The best way to avoid this trap is hiring a lawyer, who will know precisely when your opponents are going too far and protect you when they do.
Change Social Media Habits – As we mentioned above, part of the discovery process may include your opponents going through your social media accounts. If you post something that is not consistent with your injuries, they could use that as evidence against you. Additionally, bragging about getting compensation for your damages will be frowned upon and could hurt your case.
Stay True to Your Story – One way the other party can poke holes in your argument is if you don’t stay true to your story. Doing so can come in the form of lying about your health, overestimating your medical expenses, and any other type of inconsistency.
Your defense against privacy invasions often comes down to the actions of you and your St. Louis car accident lawyer. First, make sure you don’t lie or act in any way that makes it look like you are not telling the truth. Next, find yourself an excellent lawyer that will defend you against overreach. If you adhere to both of those guidelines, you will have taken excellent steps to protect your privacy.