A single misstep has the potential to sabotage your personal injury lawsuit in New Orleans. This is not the type of legal challenge an individual can tackle on his or her own in a pro se manner. However, even some personal injury attorneys make mistakes when handling client cases. Lean on the wrong attorney for assistance and one of the mistakes detailed below will jeopardize your chances of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. In fact, there are even some mistakes you can make that will derail your case.
Meet with a doctor after your injury, even if it is minor or latent. Some injuries take upwards of several days or longer to manifest. This medical professional's evaluation of your injuries is necessary to prove there is a causal relationship between the accident and your pain/loss of use of a body part. Your meeting with the doctor gives this professional the opportunity to fully document the extent of your injuries. This professional analysis will prove critically important in proving your claim is legitimate, helping you obtain the compensation necessary to remedy this egregious injustice.
Evidence matters just as much in an auto accident or other personal injury case as it does when attempting to prove a suspect is guilty of a crime. Collecting evidence is not solely your attorney's responsibility. Though the best personal injury attorneys certainly gather evidence in the form of medical records, police records, semi-truck black box-style recordings and beyond, you can also help.
If you are physically capable of using your phone or pen and paper after the accident, take a picture of the damage as well as the accident scene. If you do not have a smartphone, draw a picture with pen and paper. Write down the witness contact information. Take their testimony with your smartphone. Do not forget to call the police! The responding police officer will create an official accident report that might help establish fault.
It is certainly tempting to embellish the facts of the accident as well as your pain. However, stretching the truth could come back to haunt you in the end. There is a chance opposing counsel will question whether a causal relationship exists between the accident and your injury. If it is determined you lied about your injury or the accident, you will not receive the compensation you expect. Furthermore, if it is determined you are the one at fault for the accident, you will be on the hook for costs resulting from your negligence.
Though you must contact the auto insurance company after the accident, your interaction with this group should stop there. Explain the facts of the accident to kick-start the claim process then hand the matter off to your attorney. This way, you won't mistakenly say something that compromises your case. Your personal injury attorney knows exactly what to say and how to say it. Furthermore, your attorney will negotiate until you are provided with the appropriate amount of compensation. This is an important point to make as countless personal injury victims have gleefully accepted the insurance company's first settlement offer only to find the costs of their injuries eventually exceed the settlement amount.
If you are injured due to another's negligence (the lack of due care), it is best to limit the discussion of the matter to interactions with your attorney. Refrain from using social media until your case is resolved. If you are addicted to social media and unwilling to go cold turkey, make a concerted effort to avoid talking about your case on the platform. However, it is best to completely stop using social media as even being tagged in a picture while out and about has the potential to sabotage your case. The insurance company and even the at-fault party really will monitor your social media posts for evidence your injuries might not be as severe as claimed.