When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney for whoever you’re suing will be scrutinizing your claims. Everything from your evidence to your injuries will be looked at under a microscope.
To increase your chances of winning your personal injury case, avoid making the following mistakes.
- Representing yourself in court
If you’re thinking about representing yourself in court instead of hiring a lawyer, you’ll end up getting in over your head. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the only way to win adequate compensation.
Self-representation doesn’t make it impossible to win, but the issue is knowing how to negotiate and argue your case. Without experience in the courtroom, you’ll end up getting the lowest amount of compensation, and that’s only if your case isn’t shredded on a technicality.
The advantage of having a lawyer is immense. You’ll be in good hands with someone who knows the law and how to get insurance companies to pay what your claim is actually worth.
- Exaggerating or underestimating your injuries
When you underestimate your injuries, insurance companies will question your lawsuit later on. Likewise, if you exaggerate your injuries, your claims will come under scrutiny.
Exaggeration isn’t always a deceitful act. If you think you need to slightly exaggerate your injuries to win your case, that exaggeration can work against you.
For example, say you sustained a back injury, but you can still walk. You’re in pain, but you don’t need a mobility device like a cane or a walker. If you pretend like you need a mobility device to get around, thinking it’s going to help your case, that could cost you everything.
- Posting to social media
Avoid posting to social media and don’t allow others to post photos and tag you in them. It’s best to deactivate your accounts until your lawsuit is complete. Social media posts have gotten plenty of personal injury cases dismissed. Social media posts can also diminish the amount of compensation you’ll be awarded.
For example, say you’re asking for damages for loss of enjoyment of life, and then you post photos to Facebook that show you clearly enjoying yourself with your friends as if your injury isn’t affecting you. Once these photos are presented in your case, you probably won’t be collecting compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
- Missing the deadline for the statute of limitations
If you don’t file your lawsuit before your state’s statute of limitations ends, you’ll be out of luck. Thankfully, the time limit is usually sufficient. For example, in Texas you have two years to file a lawsuit after an injury.
- Causing your accident by being reckless
If there’s any chance that you created the dangerous situation that led to your injury by being reckless, you will probably lose your case if your recklessness initiated the entire incident.
However, if you didn’t initiate the incident, but played a role, that doesn’t mean you’ll lose your case. In that situation, you’ll likely be held partially responsible for your accident under your state’s comparative negligence laws. These laws assign fault according to percentages.
From there, your compensation will be awarded based on what percentage you aren’t at fault. For example, if your case is worth $100,000 and you’re found to be 30% at fault, you’ll receive 70% of your total compensation ($70,000).
If you think your actions might have initiated your accident, even if it appears that someone else caused your injuries, talk to your attorney and be completely honest with them.
If your recklessness is obvious to your attorney, it will be obvious to everyone else, and you probably won’t win your case. Recklessness isn’t something you can hide, so be prepared for your lawyer to let go of your case.
- Lying about anything, including by omission
Any form of dishonesty will hurt your case when it becomes apparent to other lawyers, judges, or a jury. An omission can hurt your case, whether you leave out an important detail that makes you partially responsible for your accident, or you try to cover up your mistakes.
Be truthful with your attorney because they need to know every detail in order to win compensation on your behalf.
You deserve compensation – don’t give up!
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can be stressful, but you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. No matter how hard things get, don’t give up. When you have an experienced attorney, you’ll be in good hands.