As you’re looking at the circumstances surrounding your car accident, you might be thinking that you have a clean-cut personal injury case that’s sure to result in the recovery of compensation. While it’s true that a successful claim can help you offset your damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, these cases aren’t always as straightforward as they seem.
In fact, a lot of accident victims end up making serious mistakes as they pursue their claim, which jeopardizes their recovery. To avoid putting your future at risk, you need to carefully think through your case and be cognizant of how your actions may impact your path forward.
What mistakes can hurt your claim?
There are several mistakes that can put your claim at risk. Here are some of the most common:
- Posting on social media: The defense in your case is going to look for every opportunity to attack your claim. One way they do this is by scouring your social media to see if you’ve made statements about your accident that implicate fault, or if you’ve posted pictures that show that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim them to be. Therefore, you should be careful with what you post on social media. In reality, it’s best to avoid posting altogether until your case resolves.
- Failing to follow medical recommendations: Remember, you’re going to have to prove the extent of your damages if you want to recover compensation. It’s going to be hard to prove that you need ongoing medical treatment if you don’t even follow your doctor’s recommendations. So, be sure to listen to your medical professional and heed their advice.
- Getting rid of key evidence: You’re going to need evidence to support your case. But far too often, accident victims discard crucial pieces of evidence without realizing their value. For example, receipts from purchases necessary to further your recovery can help show your damages. If you throw this evidence away, you could end up shortchanging your compensatory recovery.
- Making statements counter to your position: In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it’s normal to feel compelled to talk to the other driver who was involved. But you should try to avoid doing that, and you should definitely avoid apologizing. Any statements that you make might be construed as accepting fault for the accident, which can jeopardize your claim.
- Lying about your accident: You might think you can embellish the facts of your case without any negative ramifications, but the truth is that the defense is probably going to be able to catch your lies at some point in your case. Once this happens, you might lose credibility, which could not only threaten showing your damages but also your ability to prove liability.
- Settling too quickly: You might need cash quickly after your car accident, but if you settle your case too quickly, you could end up with less compensation than you’d otherwise recover. Therefore, before making a decision about how to resolve your case, you should have a firm understanding of the extent of your damages and how a settlement offer lines up with what you could recover by taking your case to trial.
Preparation is key to avoiding costly mistakes
Although these mistakes can quickly derail your case, you don’t have to let them do that. By thoroughly preparing your claim before you enter the legal arena, you can ensure that you’re protecting yourself as fully as possible. To find out the best way to go about doing that, you might want to consider discussing the facts of your case with an attorney who knows how to competently navigate personal injury cases.