Being involved in a car accident, especially if injuries are involved, is traumatic and frightening. It can lead victims to make decisions without thinking about whether those choices will impact their ability to win a car accident lawsuit. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that can weaken or completely negate your legal argument. Learn what not to do after a car accident to preserve your chances of winning your lawsuit.
5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
It’s late, you’re tired, and you’ve just returned home from the hospital after a car accident. You’ve just been through one of the most stressful events in your life, and you’re not sure what to do next. Do you contact an attorney now? Your injuries aren’t very serious, but you still might miss some work and now you have to get your car fixed.
As tempted as you might be to reach out to friends on social media or family members for advice, the best thing you can do is work with an experienced car accident attorney to take things step by step so that no details of your case are overlooked. Take a look at the top five case-halting mistakes you should avoid.
Disposing of Evidence
Usually not intentional, disposing of evidence after a car accident can seriously impact the outcome of your case. The best thing you can do is save everything, from official law enforcement documents to hospital records and medical equipment. Even if an item seems unimportant and you don’t know why you would need it, ask your lawyer first before throwing anything away.
Withholding the Full Truth
After a car accident, it’s normal to not remember every single detail. That’s why your car accident attorneys interview witnesses and gather additional evidence to support your case. But knowingly withholding information is damaging to both your lawsuit outcome and your credibility. Omitting important details can even get your case thrown out, leading to a countersuit for any legal costs or lost wages the original offender incurred during the legal process.
Failure to Promptly Communicate with Counsel
After you get a lawyer and the process of working your case has begun, your life doesn’t stop there. You still have responsibilities and may still have medical issues to attend to. As things change with your personal health and circumstances, it’s important to keep your legal team informed. For example, if you develop a secondary illness due to injuries sustained during a car accident, your legal team will need to gather medical records and test results that may support your case.
Using Social Media to Discuss Your Case
Social media is a great tool that helps you connect with friends, family, and businesses. However, divulging information online has its drawbacks. Nothing on the internet disappears forever – and nothing is actually private. Even deleting a post is no assurance that a screenshot wasn’t seen or recorded by others. It would be unfortunate to lose your lawsuit because of a hastily uploaded post or video. When it comes to a car accident lawsuit, avoid being active on social media until you review everything with your legal team.
Waiting Too Long to Talk to a Lawyer
It’s as simple as this: While time passes, so does the strength of your case. Witnesses may become inaccessible, documents lost, and details may be forgotten. Waiting too long to seek legal help may leave you without the option to file a lawsuit at all. Furthermore, the statute of limitations in California for personal injury lawsuits is two years; that is all the time you have to file at all regardless of the strength of your case.
A Quick Checklist: What You Should Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in an accident is a shock to your mind and body. It’s easy to forget or gloss over things that will later be important in a car accident lawsuit. Use this checklist to keep yourself on track:
- After seeking medical attention, contact a reputable accident attorney
- Document all calls and visits you have with your insurance company or medical professionals
- Keep copies of all law enforcement documentation, accident reports, and mail related to the incident
- Avoid social media until you speak with your attorney
- Discuss benefit applications, like disability, with your legal team
Partner with Experienced Redlands Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one are suffering mentally, physically, or financially after a car accident, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer about your options right away. Waiting too long to contact an attorney is among the top mistakes made by victims of car accidents. Don’t make this mistake yourself.
Peach and Weathers, with more than 60 years of combined experience in personal injury law, is your source for thorough, compassionate legal representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.