I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
When you are badly injured in an auto accident, very rarely does the insurance company's offer fully cover your damages. If you want compensation not only for your hospital bills, but also for your lost wages and your pain and suffering, then you'll need to sue either the insurance company, the at-fault driver, or both. Having a good lawyer on your side is the number-one key to winning your case, but beyond that, there are a few do's and don'ts you'll want to follow as you pursue this lawsuit.
Do: Keep following up with doctor's appointments and care advice.
Just because you have begun the process of suing the at-fault party or insurance company does not mean you can slack off on care now. The defendant's lawyer will be monitoring your doctors' visits and medical care closely for any evidence that you may not be as injured as you say you are. Failing to attend certain appointments — or neglecting to follow your doctor's care advice — may be just that evidence they are looking for. It's more important than ever to attend every follow-up appointment and see every specialist that your primary care doctor recommends.
Don't: Throw away receipts.
To calculate how much you should sue for, your lawyer will need to know how much the injury really cost you. Obviously you need medical bills and documents from your employer for this calculation, but you also need receipts for anything you bought related to the injury. These seemingly small expenses, like pain relievers and foot wraps, can add up quickly. Your purchase of them also serves as evidence of the severity of your injury.
Do: Take pictures as you heal.
If your injuries caused any visible damage, make sure you take photos as they heal. This way, the defense cannot argue that you were recovered and healed before you actually were. If they say, "We have evidence that the plaintiff was recovered by January 3rd," your lawyer can pull out a photo of your bruised arm from that time to support the argument that you were, in fact, still injured.
Don't: Repair your vehicle without your lawyer's permission.
Even though the personal injury case is for bodily damage, not for damage to your vehicle, it is a smart idea not to repair your vehicle right away. The damage pattern to the car could be used as proof for the severity or pattern of your injuries. Wait for your lawyer to give you the go-ahead before you make any repairs. And before you do make the repairs, make sure you take a comprehensive set of very clear pictures showing the damage.
Do: Avoid sharing the details of your case with family members and friends.
Of course it is okay to confide in your spouse or a close family member you can trust, but as a rule, it's best not to talk too much about your case to anyone you think may share information with others. You never know who might know the defendant or their lawyer, and you do not want any information regarding your lawyer's strategy or approach to the case to get back to the defense.
Similarly, do not share anything related to your accident or case on social media. Your posts could be construed in a way that sabotages your case, and even seemingly innocent posts may be used as evidence against you.
If you have suffered a serious injury in a car accident, suing for damages is the best way to receive the compensation you deserve. It may be an uphill battle, but with the tips above, it should be a successful one. Check out websites like https://www.bennettandsharp.com/ to learn more.