Getting into a car accident can be one of life’s most stressful situations. It’s also an extremely unfair situation. Why should you have to bear the consequences of someone else’s mistake or recklessness? Restoring justice and repaying your unfair expenses is exactly why personal injury law exists. Unfortunately, sometimes innocent car accident victims make mistakes that hurt their cases. Personal injury law is complex and sometimes a simple mistake can hurt your chance at getting the compensation you need. By avoiding a few common mistakes, you can increase your chances of winning your case and maximize your potential for compensation awards.
After a car accident in Boise, remember:
- Do not admit fault. It doesn’t matter if you think you could have caused the accident or you know you are innocent – it is never wise to admit fault. Admitting fault can look like saying “Oh I’m so sorry” to the other people involved in the accident. Do not allude to anything that could point to your fault such as “I just wasn’t paying attention” or “I didn’t see you!” In addition, when talking to police about the accident, do not say anything that could hint at your fault. Any statement you make – no matter how vague or offhand – can go down on record and be used against you to blame you for the accident. Even if you shared fault, your statement might be used to blame you for far more fault than you’re actually responsible for.
- Do not assume a legal case is more trouble than it’s worth. Unfortunately, many accident victims could have claimed significant compensation but they never know it because they don’t take legal action. You might assume that the accident didn’t cost you that much and so you neglect to pursue a case. But then later, you realize just how serious (and expensive) your injuries are but by then it’s too late to get compensation. It’s always worthwhile to talk with an attorney about what your case is worth. Otherwise, you’ll always wonder what you might have been able to claim.
- Do not discuss your case with anyone except your attorney. How you tell the story of what happened in the accident can affect the outcome of your case. This includes what you say to insurance companies. The other side’s attorney could hire people to ask you questions for the purpose of using your answers against you. It’s a safe bet to not discuss the accident with anyone except your attorney.
- Do not share details about your accident on social media. Remember, when it comes to insurance companies and legal cases, anything you say can be used against you. For example, you could post a “thumbs up” photo of you walking away from the hospital in a cast, and then that could be used to prove that your injuries weren’t significant enough to merit the compensation you’re asking for. Avoid posting details or photos of the accident, your injuries, or your recovery.
- Do not sign away your rights! It’s a good rule of thumb not to sign anything without getting the green light from your attorney. A simple signature on a document could mean that you unknowingly agree to an unfairly low settlement amount or that you agree to a statement that hurts your case.
- Do not neglect to document evidence. Car accidents are stressful, and often in the confusion of everything going on, victims forget to gather evidence that could help their case. When it comes to proving the other driver’s fault and your right to compensation, every little detail counts. As much as you are able, document the scene of the accident and the aftermath. Remember to document your injuries, vehicle damage, and the surrounding scene of the accident through photos, videos, written notes, and statements from witnesses. Photograph from as many angles as possible and remember that no detail is too small to be worth recording. Save all documents relating to your medical care and property damage. In a personal injury case, you can be entitled to compensation to cover all kinds of expenses resulting from your accident, so keep a list of these expenses. Beyond your medical bills and vehicle repair, you could be entitled to receive compensation for additional expenses required because of your injuries – such as eating takeout instead of cooking, a rental car, and more. If in doubt, document the expense and ask your attorney if it can count as part of your damages.
Were you injured by a negligent driver in Boise, ID? Maybe you’re not sure who was at fault and so you’re confused about your rights or afraid to start a case. Leave it to us! Reach out at (208) 376-5256 or online
2541 E. Gala St., Ste. 210
Meridian, ID 83642
Fax: (208) 376-5907