1. Failing to Document the Accident
If you are involved in an accident, it is important to document the event as best you can. After an automobile accident, call the police to the scene, get the other driver’s personal information, get contact information from witnesses and, if possible, photograph the vehicles, the accident scene and any visible injuries. Of course, in very serious accidents where someone is badly hurt or killed this may not be possible.
2. Failing to Get Immediate Medical Treatment
If you have an accident, you should get medical treatment as soon as you feel any pain. Do not hesitate to demand an ambulance. You should either go to the hospital emergency room or your family doctor. Do not hesitate. Insurance companies evaluate the value of personal injury cases based, in large part, on medical treatment. If there is a delay in seeking treatment, the insurance company may either deny your claim or give a very low offer and argue that you must not have been injured seriously or that something else, besides the accident, caused your injuries.
3. Delaying Contacting a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
We are experts at properly documenting and then presenting cases to insurance companies and juries. This job can be best performed if we are involved immediately after the accident. You may not know if you have a case or need an attorney to help you. If you call us we will tell you if you need a lawyer. This advice is free of charge. If you have a case and need an attorney, we can: have the accident investigated, locate witnesses, have the scene photographed, have visible injuries photographed and identify the parties who are responsible for the accident. Besides obtaining evidence, we can give you sound advice on how to best maximize your chance of obtaining compensation.
4. Dealing Directly with the Other Insurance Company
You have a duty to report an automobile accident to your insurance company and should cooperate in their investigation. However, before you give any statement, especially statements to the insurance company for the other party to an accident, you should seek our advice. You should also get advice before signing any authorizations for release of records to the insurance company. You have a right to privacy and do not need to sign very broad releases. Also, never agree to accept money and sign a release of your claims before getting advice from a qualified cross border personal injury attorney. If you sign a release, your legal claims will be gone forever, regardless of how your injuries may affect the rest of your life.
5. Not Following Medical Advice
It is important to listen to your doctor – for both medical and legal reasons. Your doctor knows what is best for you. If you don’t trust your doctor, get a new one. Otherwise listen to his or her advice regarding recommended treatments, including diagnostic tests, therapy and surgery. If you miss appointments or ignore medical advice from your own doctor, it gives the insurance company powerful ammunition to use against you that you did not cooperate and try to get better. Don’t just push through the pain- get the treatment you need.
6. Hiding Past Accidents
Always tell us about prior accidents, legal claims and work injuries. Insurance companies know how to find out about them – and will.
7. Hiding Past Injuries
Do not hide past injuries either. The insurance company’s lawyer may subpoena your medical records and find out about past injuries. If you try to hide them, it can destroy your credibility and hurt or kill your case. Although your case is better if the accident actually was the sole cause of your injuries, the person responsible for an accident may be held liable for any aggravation or worsening of a pre-existing medical condition. For example, if you had a preexisting back injury which was made worse by the accident, you can recover for the worsening of your back problems. If we have to go to trial, juries lose trust for plaintiffs who try to hide past injuries.
8. Exaggerating or Misrepresenting Your Injuries or Activity Level
Don’t exaggerate or misrepresent your injuries. During your case you will be asked questions under oath about your injuries and their effect on your life. These facts can be verified by the insurance company. Its lawyers can subpoena medical records, have private investigators interview people who know you, or even perform video surveillance on you. Being caught in a lie or a clear exaggeration can mean you are denied compensation.
9. Hiding Subsequent Accidents or Injuries
Sometimes accidents happen more than once. If you have another accident, it is important to tell us. It is likely that the insurance company’s lawyer will find out about it. Let us know about it immediately.
10. Failing to Listen to Our Advice
Don’t ignore our advice. You will be given sound advice on all issues that arise during your case, both before the lawsuit is filed and throughout the litigation process. We are experts on how to prepare your case and obtain fair compensation for you. We also know the value of your case and whether it should be settled or taken to trial.