I want to share some bad mistakes injury victims will make.
Unfortunately, accident victims often act PRIOR to hiring a lawyer…. and even after they hire a lawyer – they either don’t ask their attorney for advice or they don’t follow it. I want to give everyone a 5 item list for common mistakes injury victims make.
1. Assuming they are not catastrophically injured at the scene of the accident (meaning they can move around safely) – they don’t get the police to the scene. They listen to the other driver, of a construction manager, or the store owner who says “don’t worry its my fault I’ll take care of this”. Get the police there and get a report. On that note – if you’re physically able go into detective mode, use your smart phone – get photos, take witness names. A common mistake is just being timid and scared. You need muster up the courage to be proactive at that moment. You will ALWAYS want more evidence down the road.
2. Not following through with medical treatment or following doctors advice. You want to get to the ER or a doctor as soon as you can after an incident. And once you go you want to follow the treatment plan. Go to physical therapy as prescribed, get the MRI’s the doctor calls for – you don’t want to disregard the advice and let the insurance company argue that YOU are the reason your injuries got worse.
3. Not sharing everything with their doctor. It’s not uncommon for injury victims to be shy or worried about things in their past. They don’t want to admit this had happened before or that they had hurt this body part before because they are embarrassed or scared it will hurt their legitimate new claim. This is not TRUE – so be as forthcoming as possible with your doctor. Ask your lawyer if you are scared to discuss anything – remember those conversations are privileged and confidential so tell your lawyer EVERYTHING.
4. Listening to the other driver’s insurance company – giving a statement to them or worse taking a settlement offer from them – which will both nearly always happen PRIOR to hiring a lawyer. They don’t have your best interest in mind and they act accordingly. You should as well – ignore them and call a lawyer.
5. Thinking you know better than your lawyer. This usually happens because your family member or friend had an injury case or worse a friend of a friend had a case ….and they said that you should do this and that. What these clients don’t realize is that there are hundreds of variables to every case. Every case is different. That is why the #1 thing is to spend the time and find a lawyer you can TRUST. Not just any lawyer you saw an advertisement for on tv or a billboard on the highway. Once you have a lawyer you know you can trust, you put it in their hands and you LISTEN! You can’t place a value on their years and years of experience.
Lastly, remember – us injury lawyers work contingency fees meaning you do not need to pay us anything out of pocket –so you can ALWAYS afford one.