Four tips for helping your case
After an injury suffered in an auto accident, well-intentioned actions can hurt your claim for just compensation
by Dan Harrington
1. Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
After the accident, the insurance company for the driver who caused the accident will probably contact you. When they call, they probably will sound friendly and helpful.
Be careful. Their purpose in calling is to obtain a statement from you that they can use to show that the accident was not the other driver’s fault. They may try to get you to tell your story multiple times, with the hope that one version will differ from another. If they find an inconsistency, they will use that in court to challenge your truthfulness.
2. Do not minimize your injury.
As a child, you might have been taught not to complain or to admit to being hurt. As the victim of someone else’s negligence, keeping your injury-related pain and other symptoms to yourself can seriously damage your legal claim.
If you have been injured, communicate that fact to the police at the scene and to every medical professional you encounter after the accident. If you fail to acknowledge your injuries and seek treatment for them, the insurance company will argue, “You did not treat, so you were not hurt.”
3. Do not post your accident on social media.
The information that you share on social media will be carefully reviewed by investigators and lawyers for the other driver’s insurance company. Your posted statements and photographs can be misinterpreted, taken out of context and used against you in attacking the validity of your claim.
4. Be selective in hiring a lawyer.
As soon as you conclude that you have suffered damages that may require legal action, contact an experienced injury attorney. Ask them about their experience with cases like yours, and ask them to explain what you should and should not do to strengthen your case. This is a difficult time for you, and you will need the right lawyer in your corner.
Dan Harrington is a personal injury attorney at Fitzgibbons Law Offices in Casa Grande (520-426-3824).