Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

These mistakes could derail your car accident settlement

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Personal Injury |

While the aftermath of a serious car accident can be extraordinarily stressful, you might take comfort in the fact that you can pursue legal action against a negligent driver who caused you harm. Yet, it’s important to realize that, regardless of the strength of the evidence in your case, you won’t just be handed compensation without some sort of fight. Sometimes that involves presenting evidence and legal arguments at trial, but more often than not it boils down to advocating for your position during settlement negotiations.

Either way, you can’t skimp on building your personal injury case.

As you develop your claim, it’s important to be aware of some costly mistakes that you could make along the way. If you’re unaware of the ramifications of your actions or inactions, you could be left with a recovery that falls well short of what you need.

Mistakes that could disrupt your personal injury case

There are a lot of errors that can be made after a car accident. Here are some of the most critical that could upend your case:

  • Failing to document the accident scene: You need evidence of negligence and causation to support your claim. Witness accounts can be helpful, but physical evidence can be even more powerful. Yet, if you neglect to take pictures of the accident scene, then it might be hard to paint a compelling picture of what happened in your accident. This can also make it difficult for an expert witness to render a valid opinion. In both instances, you put yourself in a more difficult position to recover the compensation you deserve.
  • Miscalculating your damages: To obtain a full compensatory recovery, you need to have a realistic picture of the damages that have been caused. Don’t overlook seemingly minor accident-related purchases, like bandage and crutches, and don’t downplay the impact your injuries have had on your mental well-being and your ability to live your normal life. Track everything so that you know what you need to advocate for during negotiations and at trial.
  • Unwittingly settling your case: Shortly after your accident, the defendant’s insurance company might send you a check, leaving you pleased to receive such a quick payout. But cashing that check might be deemed a release from future legal action against the defendant and their insurance company. So, if you receive one of these checks, read the fine print attached to it so that you fully understand what cashing it means for you and your claim.
  • Making harmful statements: As you interact with the police, witnesses, and insurance companies in the aftermath of your car accident, you should be careful with what you say. It’s easy to say something that seems innocent, like you were on the phone with a relative when the accident occurred, but the defense will use these statements against you to try to show that you weren’t paying attention to the road when the accident occurred. This could lead to a finding of comparative negligence So, watch what you say when navigating questioning following your crash.

Aggressively advocate for what you deserve

You need a strong outcome from your personal injury case, as that may be the only way for you to offset the financial harm that’s been caused to you, secure financial stability, and obtain a sense of accountability. But locking down the results that you want is going to take some work and aggressive advocacy, so now is the time to start planning how to best approach your personal injury claim and the nuances it may present.


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