Your ability to win a personal injury case, and to get a good settlement, sometimes depends on what you do both directly after the accident and through the life of your personal injury case.
Here are five mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1 Saying Too Much at the Scene of the Accident
It’s very human to say “I’m okay" in an accident. But if you do, you can bet the defendant’s lawyer will use that to claim your injuries can’t possibly be as serious as you’re saying they are.
Saying “I’m sorry" after an accident is very human. You can bet that saying anything like that will help to increase your percentage of contributory negligence, vastly reducing the amount of award money you can receive.
Stick to the facts after an accident. Remember that anything you say or do at the accident site could be used against you later.
Mistake #2 Talking to Insurance Companies Without a Lawyer
Insurance companies may contact you soon after an accident to ask for a statement or to offer a settlement. It’s important to remember their goal is to pay out as little as possible.
Anything you say or sign can be used against you later.
If your injuries are serious enough to meet New York’s serious injury threshold, you should say, “My lawyer will be in touch," and nothing more…even if you haven’t hired a lawyer yet.
Mistake #3 Waiting Too Long to Hire a Lawyer
Many people think they have to wait until they’re fully healed before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You may hire a lawyer on the day of the accident. We recommend doing so when you’re medically capable of picking up the phone because giving us a head start helps us gather statements and evidence that might become unavailable later.
Remember, we work on contingency. You don’t have to pay us anything upfront to benefit from our presence or expertise.
Mistake #4 Posting on Social Media
Social media has become part of our everyday lives in today’s digital age.
However, posting on social media can give insurance companies more ammunition to use against you.
Even innocent posts about your daily activities can be misconstrued and used to argue your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Mistake #5 Failing to Follow Doctor’s Instructions
If you don’t follow medical restrictions to the letter, you could have trouble in court or at settlement conferences. The insurance company will either use that information to claim you’re not as injured as you say, or they will say that they should pay less because you are failing to mitigate your losses.
If your doctor gives you impossible restrictions (such as telling you to avoid stairs when you live on the second floor and don’t have access to an elevator, communicate with that medical professional to ensure that those issues are addressed.
You should assume that insurance companies will use private investigators to watch your activities. If the potential payout is large enough, hiring a PI can save them thousands of dollars.
Get Help Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can help.
Don’t delay. Contact our offices to strengthen your claim today.