Were you recently involved in one? Have you filed a lawsuit to get compensation for the injuries you sustained or to get the money you need to fix your vehicle?
Whatever your reason for filing, it’s safe to assume that you want to win your case. In order to succeed and get the settlement you deserve, you need to make sure you’re avoiding some common mistakes.
Read on to learn about seven things can ruin your car accident lawsuit.
1. Underestimating Your Injuries
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident lawsuit is underestimating your injuries and neglecting to seek medical care.
Even if you feel okay in the hours or days following an accident, it’s still important to see a doctor as quickly as possible. Remember, sometimes, symptoms don’t show up for a few days after the event.
If you fail to seek treatment right after the accident, you’re sending a message that your injuries are minor or nonexistent. This, in turn, could make it harder for you to get receive compensation for your injuries.
2. Waiting Too Long to Take Action
Another mistake that can negatively affect your lawsuit and personal injury settlement is waiting too long to act after the accident.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after such an event, but you still need to act quickly if want to win your case.
Visit a doctor, call your insurance company (and/or the insurance company of the at-fault driver), and start gathering details about the accident right away.
Reach out to a lawyer, too, and start building your case as soon as you can. Otherwise, it will be harder for you to get what you deserve.
3. Giving the Insurance Company Too Much Information
When you’re talking to the insurance adjuster, it’s tempting to give them as many details as possible.
In reality, though, this can end up significantly shrinking the size of your settlement. Remember, it’s the insurance company’s job to save money and pay out as little as possible.
When you’re talking to the insurance company, avoid discussing your injuries, providing a recorded statement, or talking about who was at fault. Instead, just give them the basics.
Wait until you’ve hired a lawyer to go over specifics with the insurance company. He or she will communicate with them on your behalf and ensure you get what you deserve.
4. Neglecting to Gather Evidence
Start gathering evidence as soon as you can after the accident.
Ideally, this will happen immediately after the accident occurs. But, if you can’t do this — perhaps because you had to go to the hospital immediately after — just start as quickly as you can.
Some information you ought to gather regarding the accident includes:
- Getting names and contact information of witnesses
- Asking for witness statements
- Taking pictures of the accident scene
- Taking pictures of the damage your vehicle sustained and the damage to the other vehicle
Be sure to take a picture of the position of the vehicles when the crash occurred, too.
In addition to gathering this evidence, it’s also important to avoid throwing anything away after the accident. Hang on to prescriptions, medical bills, casts or braces, and even pill bottles. All of these items are evidence of your injuries.
5. Agreeing to a Quick Settlement
Some people feel tempted to agree to a quick settlement because they just want to wrap things up as soon as possible.
It’s true that a car accident lawsuit can be a long and arduous process. But, if you agree to a quick settlement, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get as much money as you deserve.
If you let an attorney handle your car accident, there’s a good chance that you will get a lot more money than you would if you handled it yourself and agreed to the first settlement you were offered.
6. Signing Forms from the Insurance Company Without an Attorney Present
You know that you shouldn’t talk too much to the insurance company after the accident without an attorney present. But, you also shouldn’t sign any papers without letting your attorney read through them first.
If you sign papers from the insurance company without having an attorney look over them, you could end up signing away certain legal rights.
Even the most seemingly innocuous documents can negatively affect your case.
For example, signing a medical authorization will give the insurance company the right to review your medical records. And, a financial release form releases the insurance company from additional financial responsibility.
7. Talking About Your Case on Social Media
Many people also make the mistake of talking about their case on social media.
This is incredibly risky and can seriously affect your case. There’s a good chance the insurance adjuster may check your social media profiles and try to use what you say against you.
For example, if someone asks how you’re feeling and you say, “fine,” that could be used as evidence to prove that your injuries aren’t that serious.
It’s also important to be careful about the things you post on social media that aren’t directly related to your accident.
For example, if you post a picture of a vacation, the insurance adjuster could make a case that your life has not been negatively affected by the accident.
To be safe, consider de-activating your social media accounts altogether until everything with the lawsuit is wrapped up.
Need Help Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit?
You now know which mistakes to avoid following a car accident. But, that’s not all you need to know.
There’s still a lot more for you to learn. For example, do you know what you should be doing when filing a car accident lawsuit?
If you need more help with your lawsuit or are unsure of how to proceed, we’re here for you at the Law Office of Scott DeSalvo.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you win your case.