Coming out ahead in a car accident claim or a lawsuit is difficult, but an experienced personal injury can make a big difference. It also helps if you don’t make the mistakes below.
How To Ruin Your Car Accident Case
Getting Too Upset
Almost everyone is upset and stressed after a car accident, and this is understandable. But this is a moment when you need to keep a level head. Call the police immediately and say as little as possible to others involved in the crash.
Problems happen when you talk too much to others involved in the accident and say things that hurt your claim. Saying something as innocuous as “I’m okay” may be seized upon by the other driver’s attorney to minimize any injuries you claim a week later.
Also, don’t get into arguments with anyone after the accident, as this is when you can make verbal mistakes that cost you the most.
Forgetting About Contributory Negligence
If you are hit from behind at a red light, the other driver is usually at fault. But what if you were pulled too far into the intersection, a car smashes into you from the rear, and you then hit other vehicles?
This could be where contributory negligence comes into play. This means that your potential personal injury settlement is reduced by your degree of fault for the accident.
For example, in the case above, let’s say you have $10,000 of property damage and injuries. But because you pulled too far into the intersection, the insurance company says you’re 25% at fault. This means your settlement would be only $7,500.
Many states have a contributory negligence standard for determining car accident liability. So if the fault isn’t clear cut, it’s good to assume the other insurance company will mention contributory negligence.
You can prepare for this by telling your attorney everything you can about the accident, including your potential partial liability. Don’t leave anything out when you talk to your lawyer about the incident. The more information your attorney has early on, the better for your case.
It’s vital to be as truthful as possible in a car accident claim or lawsuit. What is in insurance or court documents must be as accurate as possible. Misrepresentation (lying) may be fatal to your case because it will usually be exposed.
If the court discovers you are engaged in misrepresentation, your case could be dismissed, or the jury will think you’re an unreliable witness.
All it takes is to leave out that you were partially responsible for the accident to wreck your case, so telling the truth is always critical.
Making Social Media Posts
It’s never been easier to ruin a personal injury case as it is in the era of social media. With a few keystrokes, you can almost instantly post whatever is on your mind to Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Sharing information on social media can be fine in most situations, but you want to avoid it when your personal injury claim is ongoing.
For example, say you hurt your lower back in a car accident. But a week later, you post on Facebook that you just ran your best time ever in the 10k. When you file your claim, the insurance company may check your social media feeds. If they see you running a 10k, it’s probably going to affect your case.
The best policy during a car accident case is to post nothing on social media at all if you can.
If you avoid the mistakes above, you’re more likely to get better compensation for your personal injury claim or lawsuit.