Want to Lose Your Car Accident Lawsuit? Make One of These Mistakes
After a car accident, it’s easy to get emotional, impatient, and frustrated. If the other driver is clearly at fault, you might get mad if it seems like he or she is doing something unfair or dragging out important steps of the process—preventing you from getting your settlement as quickly as possible. Or, you might think that your case is so clearly in your favor that you slack off on what you need to do in order to make your car accident lawsuit as strong as possible.
Be careful. There are many mistakes you can make that will cause you to lose your car accident lawsuit—even if it’s clear that you’re the victim. So before you do something out of anger or think that you don’t need to follow every step, consider these common mistakes that may make you lose your lawsuit.
Obviously, you know that lying is bad. However, we still hear about many cases in which a person lies about the details of a car accident. That person might figure that no witnesses were there to say otherwise, and it makes a better case by adding or changing things about the situation that didn’t happen. All it takes is one instance of the police or an insurance company catching you in a lie. Suddenly, in the eyes of a judge your entire lawsuit might seem like a lie. Don’t lie, and make sure your statements are truthful and accurate.
Discuss your case with the other driver, the driver’s attorney, or the driver’s insurance company.
It’s easy after a car accident to want to be a nice person. You may apologize to the other driver and talk about what you did wrong. You may answer a call from the other driver’s attorney who might just have a few “quick questions.” Or, the other driver’s insurance company might grill you with questions about the accident. Stay quiet. Only give factual details to the police, and then only talk to others through your attorney or after your attorney gives you specific advice. The less details and opinions you blab aloud to others, the better.
Miss your doctor’s appointments.
Part of the essential evidence that helps your car accident lawsuit is going to the doctor (and hospital if necessary). Your doctor will provide documented evidence that you have injuries and will outline how severe they are. Without your doctor providing documentation, you have little or no evidence for a judge. No matter how bad your injuries appear to others, you still need a doctor to confirm your injuries and document them for a court. Go to all of your doctor’s appointments– do not miss any of them.
Talk or brag about your car accident case to friends and family on social media.
You might talk about all aspects of your life on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s tempting to talk about the details of your car accident, blame the other driver, talk about all of the attorney and insurance company hassles you’re dealing with, and even brag about how much money you might get. Don’t talk about your car accident lawsuit at all on social media. Anything you say online can be used as evidence against you. You may say something that contradicts your story, causing an attorney or judge to think you’re lying. Or, you simply may seem less like a real victim if you’re happily bragging about your lawsuit on Facebook. If you need to vent or brag, do it in person with trusted friends and family.
Fail to take pictures of the car accident scene and your injuries.
While a police report may describe some of what happened and your insurance company may write up a report about your car accident on a high level, nothing substitutes photographic evidence when you’re building your case. That way, you precisely capture details about the severity of your car’s damage and your injuries. Coupled with doctor’s evidence, the photos will help show the severity of the accident. It might be stressful at the time of your accident, but keep enough presence of mind to remember to take those pictures.
Try to represent yourself without an attorney.
If you represent yourself, then you increase the risk of making a variety of mistakes. Gathering evidence about the car accident and your injuries, talking to insurance companies and the other driver’s attorney, and presenting your case in front of a court all involve a lot of complex things. If your settlement might be large, then it’s worth the money to pay an attorney to do it right. Why? Because if you make a crucial mistake, your chance at a settlement that pays for your medical bills and lost income could disappear.
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