Author: Steve Palermo
Car accident cases involving personal injury can be stressful, tedious, and confusing. They are not to be handled alone. If you’ve been injured in a car accident at no fault of your own, it’s in your best interest to find an experienced personal injury lawyer to oversee your case as soon as possible. A highly-experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you in the right direction and ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that can hurt your case.
Little mistakes can put huge dents in your car accident case. And we want to make sure you never make these mistakes. Here’s a list of 13 mistakes that could hurt your car accident case as well as the financial compensation you’re entitled to for your injury and losses.
- Lying at all about anything pertaining to your case is against the law and will ruin your entire case. Always tell the truth in a personal injury case – to your lawyer, insurance companies, on paperwork, if under oath, etc. Defense attorneys and insurance companies may literally take to conducting surveillance of you or hiring a private detective for anything to build defenses against your case. Never believe you can get away with lying in a personal injury case.
- Mistakes on forms (insurance forms, legal paperwork, etc.) are also dangerous when it comes to your case. For example, your right to No-Fault coverage can be denied by making just 1 mistake on a form. Everything must be 100% accurate. That’s why it’s important to find a lawyer or law firm that will fill out these forms for you.
- Talking or conversing about your case should be avoided, especially if it’s to someone hired by the at-fault driver’s defense attorney or insurance company. If they ask you anything at all, refer them to your lawyer. Talking about your case should be avoided in general.
- Posting anything on social media relating to your case is also another mistake. It may be tempting to get your frustrations out on social media. But everything you say on social media can be used against you. Defense attorneys and insurance companies may dig through your social media and only presence for anything they can use to harm your case (and they can be extremely crafty at twisting your words/photographs). We recommend you stay off social media entirely. Deactivate your account until your case is settled.
- Signing away on anything related to your case, before consulting with your lawyer, could be a huge mistake. The insurance company of the at-fault driver may want you to sign for a release on your medical records. This is a violation of privacy and another avenue for a defense attorney to fabricate “holes” in your case. Don’t sign any paperwork given to you by the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier or defense attorney – show it to your lawyer first.
- Waiting to seek medical attention after an accident can harm your case. You may not think that your injury is bad. You may fear the thought that you may need surgery. Your injury may not even seem apparent right away. But no matter what, if you don’t seek medical attention directly after a car accident, your injury may seem less serious. Seek medical attention right away for your own safety.
- Failing to go through with medical treatment, whether it’s ongoing doctor appointments or physical therapy, gives off the impression that you are healed or that you aren’t taking your recovery or the case seriously. You may be entitled to less compensation should you fail to go through with all of your medical treatment. No matter how tedious it may seem and how scary it is to watch medical bills pile up, you’re much better off making every doctor appointment related to your recovery, for both your well-being and for your case.
- Not reporting prior injuries that may have been exacerbated by the accident can hurt your case. The fact that your injury was there before the accident took place will not prohibit you from receiving compensation if the accident made it worse. The accident further injured you – and you deserve compensation for that. Withholding this information can harm your case.
- Not obtaining a police report is a huge mistake. You must call 911 following a car accident to file a Traffic Collision Report. This is crucial to your case. A report may contain witness statements and information that is extremely valuable to your case.
- Waiting to apply for No-Fault coverage is also huge mistake. There’s a time limit to apply for No-Fault coverage supplied by the insurer, which covers economic losses related to your injury/accident. This No-Fault coverage of $50,000 can be a lifeline. Problem is, you only have 30 days to file for No-Fault coverage from the time of your incident. Seems unfair, right? You may be hospitalized for that amount of time. In this scenario, a personal injury attorney that will arrange a visit to your hospital is crucial. You can’t make any mistakes on this form, and it has to be filed within 30 days. There’s simply no way around it – don’t wait.
- Getting rid of evidence that pertains to your injury such as casts, prescription pill bottles, braces or anything else, isn’t a good idea. These items can be used as evidence of your injury’s severity and should not be discarded.
- Neglecting to document your injuries through photos or videos can be considered a mistake, since these photos are also evidence of your injury and the severity of it. Also, if possible, take pictures of any damage to your car from the accident.
- Neglecting to tell your lawyer about a request from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier to have an Insurance Medical Examination is a mistake. These doctors are insurance doctors. Their aim is to either disprove that you have an injury or demean its severity, which could leave you with less financial compensation. Call your attorney right away if the at-fault driver’s insurance company request that you receive an Insurance Medical Examination.
If you trust your personal injury lawyer to get you the highest possible financial outcome from your case, it’s best to be upfront and honest with them about everything. A personal injury case can be a fragile thing, easily dismantled by defense attorneys. And insurance companies have one goal in mind – keeping their money. They’re trained on ways to keep you from getting the compensation you deserve. They know exactly how to trick you into thinking you’re safe and will be taken care of, but that’s simply never the case. They display a thin veneer of kindness at first. But since your well-being is not their main priority, they’ll do what they need to do either delay or fully withhold the payments you’re entitled to for your losses.
Don’t just look at these as tips…look at them as if they are rules. This is a fight that your personal injury lawyer is taking on for you. So it’s in your best interest to listen to, remember, and follow everything they say to the T.