Mistakes To Avoid After A Motor Vehicle Accident

 

Total Care Clinics

Winning a personal injury case isn’t automatic. There are several legal hurdles involved. For instance, you must present valid evidence. Also, you must be smart when litigating your case. Still more, you need to stick within the statutes of limitations. Missing some steps may mean missing your compensation. Thus, avoid making the following mistakes and you will be on your way to winning a personal injury lawsuit.

Not Informing the Police

The first person to be called to the scene of the accident is the police. Being a government officer, the police will collect all pieces of evidence. He/she will write a police report, draft accident notes, take photos, etc. Plus, they are tasked with tracking down eyewitnesses and evaluating the circumstances of the accident. Evidence from police is regarded as valid and authentic. The police will issue a traffic ticket.

Admitting Responsibility or Guilt

According to Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, you should not be in a rush to solve things swiftly before the police arrive at the accident scene. For instance, trying to apologize can mess up your case. Thus, never say sorry. Allow the police to conduct their job. Anything you say can mess up your case. Remember, the defendant may produce whatever you said at the scene of the accident. Leave the judge to assign liability. He/she will determine who was at fault based on the strength of your evidence.

Not Gathering Evidence

The success of your case is dependent on the evidence you present in court. Weak evidence will see your case thrown out of court. Thus, not gathering all the evidence is a mistake. Start with the accident scene. Take photos. Take the contact details of the witnesses. File the medical receipts. Don’t throw away medical bills. Keep the bottles of medicine taken. If you attended physiotherapy sessions, record them. Your lawyer will go through these pieces of evidence before litigating your case.

Skipping Doctor’s Appointment

Don’t skip any doctor’s appointments. Attend all physiotherapy sessions. Remember, these sessions will be used as evidence before the court. Thus, be sure to attend all medical appointments. Plus, your compensation will partly be influenced by evidence from your doctor. Strong evidence means that you will get the best settlement from your personal injury claims.

Trusting Your Insurer

Don’t allow the insurance company to manipulate you. These companies are out to make profits. They will employ all tactics to ensure that you get a raw deal. Don’t trust them. They will employ different tactics to deny you the right compensation. They are notorious for employing delay tactics to push you into accepting a raw deal. The only person you should trust is your attorney. Allow your attorney to negotiate on your behalf. He/she has the skills to handle your insurance company.

Accepting an Offer Too Quickly

Of course, this is the time you need to rest. In most cases, you will be tempted to close the case too quickly. However, this will give your insurance company a chance to give you a raw deal. Thus, don’t be too quick to accept any offer. Stand on your grounds. You deserve the best settlement. Patience is a sign that you understand your rights. It means that you are ready to pursue the case to a conclusion. Your insurance company will respect your decisions.

Missing Deadlines

Personal injury cases are guided by statutes of limitations. Thus, your case should be filed within these timelines. Failing to do so can have your case thrown out of court. Still, it may be overtaken by events. Thus, not filing your case quickly is a grave mistake. Talk to your lawyer as soon as possible. Ask him/her to file your case.

Failing to Defend Your Traffic Ticket

One of the best ways of handling a personal injury case is to fight and defend a traffic ticket. The police aren’t always right. They can make mistakes and misjudgments. Of course, paying a traffic ticket may look easy and straightforward. But it will make it difficult to win a personal injury case in court. Thus, contest the ticket. Correctly respond to the ticket. Allow your lawyer to fight the ticket in court.

Hiding Facts

You and your lawyer should act as a team. Thus, do not hide facts from him. Tell your attorney how things unfolded. Be honest. Tabling all the facts will give your attorney easy time to prepare for the lawsuit and offer you professional legal representation. Plus, your lawyer will know how to protect your rights when he/she has all the facts.

Failing To Ask Questions

You are the most important party here. So, it’s your right to understand everything. From court processes to important clauses, you should know everything. Thus, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t underestimate the power of any question. Plus, asking questions will help you have complete control over your case.

Don’t Sign Documents From Your Insurer

Insurance companies are aware that you need to get back to normal life in the shortest time possible. Thus, they may rush you into signing documents you don’t understand. Never sign anything, especially those emanating from the insurance company. If you have to sign anything, do it in consultation with your attorney.

Releases

Releases show that you have accepted part of your claim. Thus, you will be presented with a release form to sign. This will mean that the other party is released from any extra financial responsibility. This form means that you cannot sue the other party again. It means that the case is closed and you have agreed on all items in the claim.  However, it’s important to note that the language used in the release clause can strip you of your rights. That’s why you should be careful before signing these clauses.

Medical Authorizations

Don’t sign any medical authorization form. Doing so gives your insurance company an opportunity to go through and review your past medical history. Here, your insurance company will peruse the medical history and even access items that aren’t part of the claim.  Remember, your medical history is part of your private information. Nobody has the right to go through it. Your insurance company may use this information to hijack your case. For instance, they may argue that your injuries were aggravated by a certain preexisting condition in your life. Plus, the information from these medical records may be twisted to delay, reduce, and deny you the right compensation.

How To Avoid Hiring a Bad Layer

A good lawyer translates to better personal injury lawsuit results. That’s why you should choose the right lawyer for your personal injury case. Select a lawyer who is willing to do everything to ensure that you get the right compensation. However, selecting the right lawyer can be challenging, especially for new clients. There are several lawyers online. However, this shouldn’t scare you from selecting the best lawyer. With the right tips and tricks, you can get a lawyer who fits into your case’s explicit needs. Also, use the following tips to avoid hiring a rogue lawyer:

Ignores Your calls

A good lawyer should be responsive. He/she should answer your calls promptly. A lawyer who doesn’t answer emails promptly isn’t a good fit for your case. Thus, observe the way he/she handles other customers. How long does he/she take to answer calls and emails? If a lawyer hesitates to answer calls from customers, that’s a red flag.

Over Promises

Of course, your lawyer should give you some expectations. He/she will estimate what to expect from the case. However, a good lawyer should be practical. He/she should give you an honest opinion regarding your case. He/she should ask your questions before issuing any promises. Thus, don’t hire a lawyer who promises you heaven out of your case. Remember, a personal injury case can take any direction. Losing the case is also a big possibility. So, don’t be overpromised. This will give you false hopes. You may over-expect and end up losing, which can sink you into stress.

Negative Reviews

Reviews are powerful components when it comes to evaluating the performance of a lawyer. In most cases, positively reviewed lawyers are professional and competent. They will do everything to ensure that their customers are happy and satisfied. On the other hand, a negatively reviewed lawyer is self-centered. All he/she cares for is getting money from clients. Stay away from these lawyers. Chose a lawyer who puts your interests first.

Not Willing to Show You Testimonials

Request for testimonials from your lawyer. Testimonials will show the level of satisfaction from the side of past clients. A good lawyer should be willing to show you testimonials. Go through these testimonials. Contact the past clients. Ask them about the lawyer. Were they satisfied? How did he/she handle the case? These are some of the biggest questions you should answer before hiring a lawyer. Don’t hire a lawyer who cannot show you the testimonials. It means he/she is hiding something from you. It’s your right to know how that lawyer handles clients.

Success Rate

The main aim of any personal injury client is to win the case and get enough compensation. That’s why you should look for a competent lawyer with a high success rate. Thus, establish the success rate of that lawyer. How many cases has he/she handled in the past? How many cases did he/she win? Thus, don’t hire blindly. Choose a lawyer who will bring the results. Don’t hire a lawyer with a poor track record.

Not Willing to Go to Court

Lawyers are trained to be confident. He/she should communicate coherently. A good lawyer shouldn’t be intimidated. Thus, he/she should be willing to see your case to full trial. A lawyer who isn’t willing to litigate your case in court is a red flag. Stay away from this lawyer. He/she is likely to cut shortcuts when litigating your case.

Takes Time to Answer Questions

Use an initial free consultation to gauge your lawyer. This is the best time to ask questions. For instance, ask about the strategies he/she will use when litigating your case. Ask the lawyer crucial questions regarding your case. Will this case succeed? How long is it likely to take? How much should I expect from the case? These questions will help you understand your lawyer better. A lawyer who hesitates to answer these questions isn’t competent. A good lawyer should have good answers. The answers should be straight and direct.

Combative

A lawyer should work for you. Thus, he/she shouldn’t dictate things. Stay away from lawyers who exhibit combative behaviors. Choose a lawyer who is willing to include you in his/her team. Remember, teamwork can bring real results to the table. Plus, a combative lawyer is likely to infringe on your rights. You need to be heard. After all, you are the main party here. So, he/she should be understanding and accommodative.

Poor Communication Skills

Communication skills are vital when litigating any case in court, including those related to personal injury. A good lawyer should exhibit good communication skills. Remember, he/she will need to convince the judge when it comes to presenting evidence. Without proper communication skills, that lawyer is unlikely to succeed.

Fees

Most lawyers prefer charging clients on a contingency basis. This means that they will only be paid once the case is won. Thus, if a lawyer introduces dubious fees in your case, that’s a big red flag. Don’t hire that lawyer. Be clear from the start about the payment contract.

Not Organized

Don’t hire a disorganized lawyer. Choose a lawyer with a high level of organization. This includes the way files are arranged in his office. Also, don’t hire a lawyer who will assign your case to his/her juniors.

Pro Tip: Understand the type of insurance the other driver possesses.  Understand how the Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist claims are handled. Hire the right legal expert.

The Bottom-Line

Winning your personal injury lawsuit doesn’t stop at taking your case to court or hiring the best lawyer. There are certain things that may mess up your case. For instance, simple mistakes such as talking about your case on social media platforms may affect your case. Thus, avoid making the above mistakes if you want the best from your personal injury case.

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