4 Common Mistakes When Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
No one thinks about what will happen if they’re involved in a car accident. Still fewer people think about what will happen in the aftermath, which is why most people make mistakes that could hurt a future case
It’s understandable. You’re scared and hurt and desperate for this problem to go away. But with the sheer amount of documentation and organization you’ll have to go through, you have to be careful. Police reports, insurance claims, hospital visits and records are all important to a potential case. Even a solid car accident lawsuit can falter under the weight of minor mistakes.
You deserve the space to recover from your accident. We can help if you let us. Here are four common mistakes to avoid if you’re filing a lawsuit.
It might seem abundantly obvious, but the single biggest mistake you can make in a car accident lawsuit is to lie.
Car accident lawsuits don’t just rely on the facts. They rely on the credibility of the person providing the facts. After all, it’s your word against the other driver’s, and you’re trying to prove that your word is more valuable than theirs.
Lying about the details of the case–even a small exaggeration of the facts–can cost you your credibility. Remember, insurance companies are like sharks out for blood, and they’ll look for any reason to avoid paying out a claim.
If you lie and they find out (and they will find out), they will use it as evidence that you’re trying to play up the accident to get a claim paid out.
Fortunately, it’s a mistake that’s pretty easy to avoid. Don’t lie. Don’t lie to the police, don’t lie to your doctor, don’t lie to your insurance company, and definitely don’t lie to your attorney.
2. Not Getting Immediate Medical Attention
Another common (and easily avoidable) error is not seeking immediate medical attention.
Like lying, this one seems like a pretty obvious no-go. After all, if you’re injured, you need immediate medical care anyway.
Here’s the problem: if you’re flustered and embarrassed and nervous and desperate to get back to your day, it’s easy to ignore injuries by saying that they’re not a big deal. But if you go home without medical care only to find out that your injuries were more severe than expected, your lawsuit could be in serious trouble later.
The other party is going to ask the next obvious question: if your injuries are bad enough to merit a lawsuit, why didn’t you seek immediate medical care? And why are you now filing a lawsuit for injuries that you disregarded at the time?
Part of establishing credibility is proving that your claims are true. If you were injured and you’re suing the other party for damages, you have to be able to prove that your injuries 1) exist and 2) are as bad as you claim.
For that, you need to seek medical attention.
3. Lack of Documentation
A related problem is the lack of adequate documentation.
In cases like this, any attorney will tell you that what you can prove matters more than what you know. The more hard evidence an attorney can provide, the easier time they’ll have of convincing a court to see things your way.
Anytime you have an injury, surgery, or other damages that will factor into your lawsuit, you need documentation of it. Take photos of everything. Get copies of any and all medical records related to your accident. Save all correspondence related to the accident.
Remember two things:
- Lawsuits take time
- A picture’s worth a thousand words
Don’t let the other party’s attorney minimize your injuries because you made a good recovery in the interim.
4. Talking About the Case
Finally, don’t make the mistake of talking about your case. Or, rather, talking about your case with the wrong people in the wrong places.
We live in a world dominated by social media. Defense attorneys and insurance adjusters know this. They also know that anything can be spun if provided the right context, which is why it’s now common practice for defense attorneys and insurance adjusters to dig through your social media for evidence against you.
Even a post of you going out with friends can be used as proof that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim they are. All an attorney needs to do is make jurors doubt you.
If you’re caught in an accident, the best thing to do is to take a sabbatical from social media. Yes, even accounts that are “private”. Be aware that any post can be used in the case against you, even if the connection isn’t obvious.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to comment or complain about the case on social media, with friends, at work, or anywhere else. Don’t respond to correspondence about the accident, either.
The only one you should discuss the accident with is your attorney, and your attorney should be the only one communicating with others about the accident.
Are You Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you’re filing a car accident lawsuit, one of the most important steps is to hire a great attorney. How do you know who to trust with your case? Look for an attorney that has experience handling. That’s where we can help.
We know how to make the legal system work for you, which is why we’ve recovered millions for car accident victims since 1984. If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation.