Injured victims innocently cause serious damage to their car accident claims every day. Often this happens because they are trying to recover compensation on their own, without the help of a qualified attorney.
Jay Trucks discusses some of these common missteps and how to avoid them while pursuing a car accident claim against a negligent driver.
If you are injured in a car crash in Michigan, hiring an attorney may benefit your claim by helping you to avoid critical mistakes, protect your legal rights and pursue compensation for damages that may include excess economic damages, medical costs and pain and suffering.
Call the law offices of Jay Trucks and Associates to learn how we may be able to help. Your initial consultation carries no obligation and is completely free.
Mistakes Regarding Your Medical Care
These are some of the most common mistakes we see people make regarding their medical care after a car crash:
Delaying Medical Care After an Accident
When you do not seek medical care immediately after an accident, insurance companies have plenty of wiggle room to argue that your injuries could have happened elsewhere.
Not seeking medical attention after an accident at all could put your health at risk. Not all injuries are visible or cause immediate pain, but this does not mean they may not be serious, or life-threatening, such as if you have internal bleeding, organ damage or a traumatic brain injury.
Ignoring Your Doctor’s Plan of Care
Getting medical attention immediately after a car accident is a step in the right direction, but if you see your physician and then completely ignore his or her plan of care, it implies that you may not be hurt as badly as you claimed.
In addition to damaging the value of your claim, not following your doctor’s care plan can also impact your recovery time and potentially your long-term health as well.
Failing to Show Up for Follow-up Appointments
Missing one or more follow-up appointments sends a clear message to your doctor, the defendant and to his or her insurer that you are likely exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
Not Documenting Your Injuries
Memories may be around for years to come, but the accuracy and ability to recall important details fades faster than you may think. To help provide accurate information about your injuries and how they are impacting your life, we strongly recommend that you regularly document your progress in a journal throughout your recovery.
You should not record intimate information or details discussed with your attorney as it may be presented to others for evidence. However, it is important to include
- Medical appointments, what was discussed and your progress
- Medications you are prescribed and when
- Description of your pain level and how it impacts you daily
You can learn more about what should and should not be included in your accident journal when you meet with one of our Grand Rapids car accident attorneys in your completely free initial consultation.
Exaggerating Your Injuries
Exaggerating or providing false information about your injuries can result in your claim being denied. However, even if you are genuinely injured but do the following, you can still seriously devalue your claim if you:
Post on Social Media
Posting anything at all about the accident or your daily activities afterwards on your social media accounts can negatively impact your claim. You may think that your account is private, but insurance companies have ways to investigate your social media activity to get the information they are looking for.
The best approach is to avoid social media completely throughout the legal process. If you feel you cannot avoid it, do not discuss anything about the accident. Additionally, do not post pictures of you at parties or other activities. Even if innocent, it sends the wrong message and can easily be twisted and used against you.
Renew Gym and Other Memberships
Nothing says you are recovered from injuries more than getting back into activities you enjoyed before the accident. Even if you are only thinking ahead, it is best to put off renewing that gym membership, hunting or fishing license until after your legal case has concluded.
Sign Medical Releases or Other Documents
We strongly recommend not signing any documentation without having your attorney review it first. Insurance companies often to talk injured victims into signing documents, such as medical releases that provide them access to your full medical history. These documents are typically for their benefit, not yours.
Even in situations where you may have pre-existing injuries that must be disclosed, it is best to discuss them first with your attorney so that they are revealed in a manner that is not damaging to your case.
Neglecting to Get Help From a Licensed Attorney
Hiring a qualified attorney may benefit your case in many ways, such as helping you to avoid mistakes like these and further guide you throughout the legal process.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have been representing injured victims in Michigan for more than 30 years. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, and we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation and learn whether you may have a valid case. There is no obligation and no risk to you as we do not collect any costs or fees until we first recover compensation for you.
FREE Initial Consultation. (800) 762-8623