Unfortunately, auto insurance companies are looking for any way possible to pay less when settling a car accident lawsuit. They are looking to make a profit just like every other business out there. Insurance company adjusters and insurance lawyers are looking for you to make a mistake, so they don’t have to pay out a fair settlement and you would be surprised how often these mistakes are made and how much it hurts an accident claim. We see the questionable tactics that the insurance companies use daily. The reason they do this is because it is saving them tons of money! They don’t care what the victim deserves, they are just looking to mitigate their financial exposure. For this reason, it’s crucial that you don’t fall into any of their traps and you avoid these common mistakes that can ruin a lawsuit.
Mistake #1 : Signing Paperwork That Limits or Waives Future Injury Claims
A good rule of thumb is simply to not sign anything without your attorney present. Insurance companies use very tricky tactics and you never know what’s in the fine print. They will try to sneak in language that can potentially limit or waive your future compensation resulting from accident injuries. Once you sign a document that unknowingly limits your recovery, you have no recourse. Even if you have legitimate injuries and you have truthful pain and suffering, you will not be able to recover anything from a third-party lawsuit. Another good rule is never let anyone have access to your either your medical records or your cellphone records. Since you are not at fault for the accident, there is no reason to provide this information. If someone requests your signature or medical/phone records, tell them to get everything from your attorney.
Mistake #2: Talking About Your Lawsuit and Injuries To Others
This mistake is extremely easy to avoid, but it is also the most common and detrimental mistake. Simply don’t talk to anyone about your lawsuit or injuries except for your car accident lawyer and doctors. Auto insurance adjusters, third party case managers, and insurance lawyers will no doubt try to contact you and just DON’T TALK! If someone wants to ask you questions about your case or is somehow hired by the at-fault driver or insurance company tell them to call your attorney.
Mistake #3: Not Revealing Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Injuries
After a car accident, you will be seeing doctors and specialists that will be inquiring about your past medical history. It’s very important that you disclose everything truthfully. Even if you think something might not be an issue, just put everything out there and be completely honest. Everyone has previous medical conditions and they will not ruin your car accident lawsuit. What will ruin your case is if you fail to disclose previous medical conditions to your doctors and specialists. Getting caught in a lie is much worse than just disclosing a previous injury openly. It hurts your credibility and most importantly it makes you less likeable to potential jurors. With all the data available to the insurance company and their attorneys through social media, databases, and investigators, it’s nearly impossible to hide or lie about an injury. For all of these reasons, just avoid this mistake and fully disclose all of your previous injuries!
Mistake #4: Engaging in Social Media Activity After The Accident
Believe it or not, insurance adjusters and attorneys will be investigating and monitoring your social media activity in the hopes of you making a critical mistake. Even if you have your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to private, they have their ways of finding everything. They will be looking for anything to make you look bad or disprove that your injuries are as serious as you claim. Maybe you are more active than you should be or aren’t acting as “hurt” as you should be. There have been many documented cases where postings on social media has ruined accident claims. Social media is essentially a surveillance tactic for the insurance companies who are looking for any reason to pay you less. Be very careful with your posting and pictures of your daily life. Don’t delete your account, but you should stop posting anything new following the injury.
Mistake #5: Not Attending Your Medical Appointments and Procedures
This mistake is extremely easy to avoid. Just do not miss any of your doctor appointments or specialist appointments. First off, you really do need to see doctors for your care and recovery after an accident. The 2nd reason is that you don’t want to give the insurance company any ammunition. They will claim you missed your appointment because you really aren’t hurt and you aren’t taking your own medical recovery seriously. If you don’t care about your own recovery, why should a jury care and award you financial compensation? Just listen to all of your doctors and follow their directions. You need to show that you are working hard to recover and doing everything in your powers to facilitate that. Keeping and attending all your medical appointments is a very important part of your recovery.
Mistake #6: Not Documenting Your Injuries With Photos
Another very common mistake is failing to take pictures anytime you have a surgery or have a visible injury. Immediately following an accident, it can be very difficult to remember to take pictures since the scene can be hectic. Not only will this show the severity of the injuries, but it can show your progress and how much pain you have had to endure. Taking video throughout your recovery process can be a great tool to display what you were going through.
No two injuries are alike, and some appear to heal before the case is over or before depositions begin. Having your injuries and recovery documented is very strong evidence in your favor. Insurance adjusters and insurance attorneys can claim that you weren’t hurt, but they won’t be able to refute your documented pictures and videos. Don’t let the insurance company tell you that your injury isn’t that bad and you don’t deserve a fair settlement. Document it and you won’t be sorry that you did.
Avoid These Mistakes and Don’t Talk About Your Case
The best way to avoid these mistakes is to have excellent communication with your car accident lawyer and not speak about your case to ANYONE else. There are so many things that can hurt or ruin your accident lawsuit that can be avoided simply by calling your attorney and asking a question. Don’t be afraid to communicate. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident and need help recovering financial compensation for your injuries, call The Clark Law Office today for skilled legal representation and a free consultation. No fee unless you win!