If you have been injured in an accident, you obviously wish to recover the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and lost income from work. However, there are many ways that you can sabotage your lawsuit and lose the funds owed to you. Some of these are obvious but others are less so. We encourage you to read through these common mistakes so that you do not inadvertently cause problems for your case.
Most lawsuits are not cut and dry. There are good and bad facts on both sides. Therefore, do not hide bad facts from your attorney. Your lawyer has heard it all before. Tell him or her all the facts upfront. If you lie, your lie will almost always be exposed. Your attorney may fire you and your case will likely fall apart.
2. Talking About Your Case
A multitude of people, including insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, even jurors may contact you about your case. Do not discuss the case with anyone and refer them to your attorney.
Expect that the other side will put you under surveillance to ensure you are as injured as you claim. Therefore, in addition to telling the truth, it is important to let your attorney know if you are trying to do tasks that you could not previously undertake. Everyone will understand improving from injuries. They will not understand if it appears that you are living a life different from your story in court.
4. Social Media
You must expect that the other side will have access to all of your social media accounts, even if they are private. More and more cases are being lost due to damaging evidence posted to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. We recommend not posting anything after your injury or limiting your posts to pictures of other persons in non-controversial activities (i.e. pictures of the grandkids).
5. Signing Documents
Do not sign any form of document related to your injury without consulting your attorney! Even simple forms can contain releases and waivers in fine print.
The statute of limitations begins once you are injured and in many cases expires one year later. Therefore, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
7. Medical Appointments
Be sure to attend all of your medical appointments and follow the recommendations of your doctors. If you don’t, it can show that you don’t value your recovery and your lawsuit. If you are referred to a new provider or decide to switch providers, be sure to inform your attorney.
Save any evidence of your injuries from your doctors, such as pill bottles, prescriptions, casts, etc. Also any time you have visible injuries especially from surgery, take pictures. Also take pictures of any vehicle damage.
9. Insurance Exams
The insurance company will likely send you to a medical exam to bolster their claim that you are not as injured as you claim. Inform your attorney before the date of the appointment so he or she can prepare you for the exam.
10. Social Security Disability
If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits because you cannot work, be sure to coordinate your application with your attorney. He or she can ensure that you do not harm your case by putting an inadvertent information on your application.
Ensure that your voicemail, email address and other communication devices have a professional sound and tone. They will likely be included as evidence and can give the jury the wrong impression if they are not appropriate. Also when communicating with anyone involved in your case (which generally should only be your lawyer) make sure you are courteous. Assume anything you write or say will be in front of a jury one day.
12. License Renewal
If you have any licenses that require physical labor, such as hunting, fishing, commercial driving, or even driving a motorcycle, be sure to contact your attorney before you renew them. If you are seriously hurt and renew such a license, it can damage your case.
13. Life changes
Inform your attorney if you move or your job or its responsibilities change. Also inform your attorney if you have to miss work due to your injuries.
14. Expecting Too Much
The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to recoup your expenses so you can live your life. Don’t expect to get rich. Concentrate on your recovery and let your attorney handle the lawsuit.
If you have been injured and need assistance with your claim, please contact us at Morris Anderson at 702-333-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.