Serious Mistakes in Lawsuits
When someone else acts negligently and you suffer an injury as a result, you might be eligible for financial compensation from that person or business. Personal injury cases cover a wide range of actions from car accidents to medical malpractice and even falls. For the most part, if you are hurt, you will need to deal with an insurance company. If you try to settle on your own, you may find that you damage your case irreparably. Even when you do have an attorney on your side, if you aren’t careful, you can still make mistakes that will hurt or even destroy your suit.
Costly Mistakes in Lawsuits
The civil law process can be confusing and intimidating to an individual who is unfamiliar with it. This lack of familiarity increases the likelihood of a possible error, and given the importance of your case, it would be regrettable to proceed without competent legal assistance. An attorney can help you to avoid making the following costly mistakes:
Trying to Settle on your Own
Many people prefer to try to settle their cases on their own. Most of the time, this is because they think they will get more money if they don’t have to pay an attorney fee. When you try to settle your own case, the insurance adjustor will try to find out as much information as they can. The adjustor will act like your friend, subtly asking questions which might lure you into providing harmful information. When you realize that the offer will be low and consider retaining counsel, it is possible that you have already provided information which damaged your claim. For this reason, it is best to have an attorney on your side before you ever speak to the opposing insurance company. More often than not, the lawyer will more than cover the fee through the increased settlement they can obtain. Sometimes, the insurance company will simply refuse to offer any settlement at all. At that point, you will need to file suit and go to court. Handling a lawsuit without the assistance of a lawyer is very difficult. The system is complex and confusing. It is easy to miss deadlines that will end your suit before it ever has a chance to begin.
Waiting too Long
Dealing with all of the issues surrounding an injury is very stressful. It is understandable why you might put off speaking to a lawyer. Unfortunately, if you wait too long, you will lose the right to sue. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you generally have a two year statute of limitations. The statute begins running on the date you were injured. If you wait until one day later, you can no longer seek recovery for your injuries. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as reasonably possible after you have been injured. This helps protect you and your lawsuit.
Failing to Tell your Lawyer Everything
Sometimes, clients believe that withholding information might be helpful. Or they believe a detail is small and insignificant. Unfortunately, sometimes the smallest details can come back to haunt you if your lawyer isn’t prepared to handle them. It is critical to provide your lawyer with every piece of information you know. If you remember something later on be sure to update the attorney. Remember, no information will be shared beyond your law firm, unless it is required by the lawsuit. An ethical law firm keeps your information properly guarded and trains every employee to follow attorney ethics rules on client data.
Posting Social Media
Providing information about your lawsuit on social media can destroy your case. Sharing too much about your life can have devastating consequences as well. If you are claiming that you are seriously injured, but posting pictures of you skiing, that is going to be a serious problem. Opposing counsel will try to access your account through the discovery process. In addition, anything you leave open to the public can be seen by the opposing side. If you share posts with “friends of friends” on Facebook, someone on the other side might be able to see the post. It is best to stop posting, if you can, or at least, limit your posts if you cannot. It is critical that you watch what you write and what videos and photos you share online.You also want to be careful about what your friends share about you online.
For information on how Facebook’s privacy settings work, please see our video here.
We Can Help Prevent These Mistakes
At Lowenthal & Abrams, we have been representing injury victims for over 40 years. Our 14 lawyers are litigators who aren’t afraid to fight on your behalf in court. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a person or business, contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help.