When personal injury attorneys say that a case has value, they’re simply referring to the dollar amount an injured person may recover from the party that caused the injury. Believe it or not, there are ways in which a case can lose value. That is, certain acts may occur that result in an injured party recovering less money than originally anticipated. Worse yet, these acts are often committed by the injured party himself -most often inadvertently. If you’ve been injured in a serious auto accident, please avoid doing anything that might reduce the value of your case. Here are the top 10 most common mistakes claimants make.
1. Failing to File a Claim on Time
Many insurance companies have time limits on when a claim must get filed. If you file a claim after these limits, you may lose your right to file a case altogether – and lose your right to recover for any damages sustained. Lawsuits filed in court also have time restrictions. Like insurance claims, filing a suit after the allotted time-frame expires ultimately means you’ll lose the chance to bring your case.
2. Not Taking Videos and Photos
It’s important to photograph and video the big-ticket items in an accident case. Some of the biggest of the big include: the scene of the accident, any damage to your automobile, physical injuries suffered as the result of the accident, the appearance of injuries after important surgeries or treatments, and difficulties in performing work duties/daily tasks because of an injury. These photos and videos capture critical evidence that lies at the heart of your case.
3. Signing the Wrong Documents
Never sign a document related to your auto accident case before discussing it with your lawyer. Even if you think the relation is tangential, call your accident lawyer before signing. Certain documents may include language (sometimes in fine print) that waives your future rights to file injury claims or allow insurance companies to access your medical records. Think before you give an autograph.
Avoid the temptation to lie or exaggerate. Dishonesty never prevails and can sink a valuable case in numerous ways. If you’re asked a question and are unsure of the answer, simply say “I don’t know.”
5. Posting on Social Media
If you’re claiming that an auto accident caused severe pain and harm to your back and neck, don’t post a picture of yourself on Facebook that shows you water skiing. Insurance companies and attorneys will view your social media sites during a claim or lawsuit. Avoid posting anything that could potentially minimize the severity of an injury or hardship.
6. Talking About your Case
After a claim or suit is filed, people might want to talk to you. Maybe an insurance adjuster gives you a call. Perhaps a defense attorney asks you a question. Or, the party causing the injury might want to chat. Don’t talk to people about your case. If you’re uncertain as to whether you should answer a question or make a statement, contact your personal injury lawyer.
7. Missing Doctor Appointments
If you’ve suffered injuries in an auto accident, you’ll likely have to see a doctor or chiropractor. Never miss an appointment. If a scheduling conflict arises, call your physician and re-schedule. Missing doctor appointments reduces the perception that your injuries are severe and shows that you don’t really care about your case.
8. Failing to Ask Questions
Insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits are complex and confusing. They involve professionals and terms that we normally don’t encounter. If you’re ever bewildered as to any aspect of your claim or suit, ask your accident lawyer for clarification. If you don’t, you just might wind up talking to the wrong person or signing the wrong document.
9. Assuming Every Auto Accident Case is the Same
Maybe you’ve read about certain auto accidents in the news, or, watched something about them on television. That’s great. However, never assume that what you’ve read or watched pertains to your individual case. Every auto accident is different. This means every auto accident claim is different. If you’re confused as to why something was handled differently in a separate matter, ask your injury lawyer for clarification.
10. Hiring the Wrong Attorney
There’s a full range of auto accident attorneys. Some are exceptional. Others are horrendous. Many are mediocre. Do some research before hiring your attorney. View the firm’s website. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience, history of results, and understanding of complex cases. Ensure the attorney you hire is honest, credible, knowledgeable and a good fit for your needs.
Our firm knows how to handle serious and complex accident cases. The attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorney are tireless in their efforts and passionate in their representation. Simply contact them now and see for yourself. Our attorneys provide free case consultations and never stop fighting for your rights and interests.