4 Mistakes To Avoid If You’re Injured & Want To Go To Court
Accidents happen throughout Florida’s Suncoast and the rest of the state. However, if your injury occurred because someone else was careless and neglecting their primary responsibilities, that’s not your fault. If you’re not at fault for your injuries and someone else is, it’s unfair for you to have to shoulder the loss of time and the financial burden of medical treatment and recovery. The right thing to do is to hold accountable those who are responsible for the injury.
A personal injury lawsuit is a way to do this. However, if you’re going to court or even just negotiating for an out-of-court settlement, certain mistakes can cost you your compensation. Here are some of the critical things you should avoid doing if you’re involved in a personal injury case.
Don’t Ignore Your Doctor
Some will argue that doctors are overly cautious. The medical guidance they give can be ignored if you don’t find it helpful. However, in a legal situation, ignoring a doctor’s advice, especially if this comes out in testimony, can be very damaging to a case.
For example, suppose a doctor advises bed rest to get over an injury quickly, and you ignore this and continue to live an active lifestyle. In that case, this could be interpreted as you not wanting to recover soon. Worse yet, it could be indicative that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim. You’re ignoring medical advice because you’re not actually unwell, in which case, your lawsuit is fraudulent, and you could end up getting countersued.
Don’t Talk About Your Case On Social Media
Until a case is resolved in court, anything and everything that happens before the trial is possible evidence. This is especially true for things you say “on record” in places like social media. People frequently forget that social media is a public space, and anyone can potentially read the remarks you make there. So, for example, people who publicly announce they are going on vacations, with photos of their home and the address visible in the image, are telling thieves the address of an empty house.
In the same way, if you have a personal injury and discuss it frequently and publicly with others, those remarks may be used against you later. For example, your doctor tells you an injury is serious, and you tell this to your lawyer. However, on social media, you mention the accident, and someone asks you if it’s severe and, wanting to downplay it playfully, you say it’s not a problem at all. This can be taken as an “on the record” statement that you lied about the severity of your injuries.
Remember You Are Under Investigation
In keeping with doctor’s advice and social media comments, a critical rule of thumb is to be aware you are the subject of monitoring. If you are going to court for a personal injury case, the insurance company that will ultimately be responsible for some or all of your financial damages will be working hard to defeat your claim.
This means that your social media content will be monitored, and you may even be followed for surveillance and photographic purposes to confirm or disprove your injury. Fraud cases have been thrown out of court when fraudulent litigators claimed severe injuries but then had photos unknowingly taken as they worked out on gym equipment in ways that conclusively disproved their injuries. You may be subject to the same level of scrutiny.
Don’t Sign Anything Before Consulting Your Attorney
A signature on a contract is legally binding once you take your hand away. In the days during an investigation in your injury claim, you’ll be dealing with many legal, business, and contractual matters. Unless your lawyer gives you the go-ahead, do not sign anything put in front of you.
Some insurance companies, for example, may try to get to you quickly and give you a settlement worth far less than what you are legitimately entitled to. However, if you sign the contract that agrees to this settlement, you often waive the right to contest this later in court, as that’s usually one of the conditions embedded in the fine print.
If you’re in Southwest Florida and serious about winning your personal injury case, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.