Car Accident Lawsuit Mistakes – What Not to Do in a Personal Injury Case
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
When you have been injured due to negligence or recklessness by another party, it is vital to take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights and pursue fair compensation. However, navigating the personal injury claims process can be complex and confusing, and there are certain things you should avoid doing to increase your chances of success.
Learn what actions you should avoid during your claim with the car accident lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
All lawsuits must be filed within a specified statute of limitations or time limit. In Michigan, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is three years. The only exception is for minors who have one year following their 18th birthday if their parents or guardian did not file an auto accident lawsuit on their behalf.
In addition to the statute of limitations, there are other reasons why it is important not to delay filing your motor vehicle claim or lawsuit. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to gather evidence, locate witnesses, and establish liability. The sooner you file, the better your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
Not filing your claim or lawsuit on time can be costly. It is essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to understand the specific deadlines that apply to your case and to take action before the statute of limitations expires.
At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we offer a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to help you learn your next steps and get your claim started.
Neglect to Seek Medical Assistance
If you have been injured, seek prompt medical attention to protect your health and document your injuries. Failing to seek medical assistance can not only harm your health but can also affect your case.
If you delay seeking medical attention, it can be more challenging to establish a causal link between your pain and suffering and the accident that caused it. Additionally, if you delay seeking medical attention, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were not serious or caused by something other than the accident.
It is also essential to follow through with any recommended medical treatment and to keep all your medical appointments. This helps demonstrate that you are taking your injuries and recovery seriously and doing everything possible to improve.
Keeping all the documentation of your medical treatment and expenses, such as bills, receipts, and reports, is critical. These documents will be crucial evidence in your case if you are involved in a car accident lawsuit.
Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
The insurance company will likely contact you shortly after the accident and ask for a recorded statement. This statement will be used to evaluate your claim and determine the extent of your injuries and damages.
Be cautious when giving a recorded statement, as insurance companies want to minimize their financial exposure and pay out as little as possible. They may use your words against you by twisting your statement or taking it out of context. They may also try to get you to accept a low settlement offer.
Consult with an attorney before giving any recorded statement. An attorney can advise you on what information to provide, how to answer questions, and how to protect your rights.
Lose Track of Documentation
To pursue a claim or lawsuit, it is essential to have evidence to support your case. This evidence may include medical records, bills, receipts, photos, videos, police reports, witness statements, and other documents.
Keep all the documentation related to your case in a safe place, such as a file or a folder, so you can easily access it when needed. Also, keeping your records organized and labeled is essential to find the necessary information quickly.
Make copies of all vital documents and provide copies to your attorney. This helps ensure that your attorney has all the necessary information to evaluate your case and prepare a strong claim.
Also, keep a record of all expenses related to your injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs. These documents will be significant evidence in your case and will be used to calculate your damages.
Give Your Lawyer an Incomplete Picture
In any legal case, your attorney must know the full story to represent you and get the damages you’re owed. If you leave out information because you think it isn’t important or worry it will make you look bad, your attorney could be caught by surprise during negotiations or in court.
Tell your attorney all the information you know, whether it could be used in your favor or against you. Your attorney’s job is not to judge your actions; their job is to argue in support of your case. The more information they have, the more successfully they can argue and defend you against the other driver’s lawyer.
Post on Social Media
Anything you post on social media can be used against you in your case, even if it is unrelated to the car accident, your injuries, or the lawsuit. Posts related to the accident can be used in court, while unrelated social media activity can be used as evidence that you are not focusing on recovery or are not as seriously injured as you say.
While your attorney can provide advice specific to your case, most people will advise against posting on social media. Avoid using social media until you’ve spoken with your attorney.
Immediately Accept a Settlement Offer
While you might be ecstatic to see a settlement offer from insurance, the initial offer is rarely enough to cover your expenses. Some insurers will attempt to lowball you and offer significantly less than what you are owed. Accepting a settlement offer ends the negotiation and prevents you from obtaining further damages later.
Always review a settlement offer with your lawyer before taking further action. Your lawyer has reviewed many settlements and knows what an appropriate settlement amount would look like for you. If the other driver’s insurance makes a lowball offer, your attorney will recognize the offer as unfair and negotiate accordingly.
Represent Yourself Without a Lawyer
Not hiring a personal injury lawyer, especially in high-stakes cases, is risky. Without an attorney to advise you, you may be unable to recover evidence for your claim, struggle to negotiate an appropriate settlement or make mistakes that could cost you your case.
If you file a lawsuit after a car accident, the right lawyer can be the difference between winning and losing your claim.
Car accident victims represented by the experienced attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have won significant settlements against negligent drivers, such as $1.3 million for a 5-year-old struck by a semi-truck in Marlette, Michigan.
By choosing our legal team to represent your case, you can rest assured that we will fight to help your case succeed.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.