Individuals with no experience in fighting a legal case will most likely commit multiple silly mistakes along the way. A serious injury like a herniated disc from a car accident can get you a good settlement amount if you fight the case correctly. However, small mistakes can cost you the entire case. In the worst-case scenarios, the defense can smartly put all the blame of the accident on you. In such situations, you might need to get on the defensive side to prevent paying a settlement amount.
You must prevent the following mistakes at all costs if you want to win the car accident settlement case with a generous payout.
Top 15 Biggest Mistakes Committed By Individuals In a Car Accident Case
1. Not Hiring a Professional Lawyer for the Trial
Officially, you can fight your car accident case without a lawyer. However, people highly recommend that you hire a professional lawyer for your case. A professional lawyer can help you avoid all the small and large pitfalls that can ruin your entire case. They take care of all the minor nuances of the case and do a lot of heavy lifting along the way.
Choose a reliable auto accident law firm to represent your case at the trial. The top lawyers will have multiple tricks under the sleeve that help them settle the case without a trial. They will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the best settlement offer.
2. Using the Herniated Disc Settlement Calculator Incorrectly
The internet is filled with multiple nifty tools that help you calculate the settlement amounts with fair accuracy. However, individuals with no experience in filing a settlement claim before often misuse these tools. They do not put the right parameters into the calculator which then does not produce accurate results.
A certified professional lawyer can educate you on the different parameters that you can use to file a claim. Most people forget to claim their pain and suffering settlement amount. This is one of the most powerful categories that can increase the final settlement amount exponentially. A lawyer can help you calculate your pain and suffering amount correctly.
3. Lying During the Trial
One of the biggest mistakes that people commit is lying on the stand. Before the trial, it is important that you practice your plea in front of an unbiased audience. You need to get your story straight and make sure that you stick to a well-defined timeline to get the attention of the jury. If the jury finds that you are contradicting your own statements, it will lose faith in you.
You might not lie on the stand intentionally but int the pressure that the defense puts on you. A reliable lawyer will stand by your side during the trial to ensure that the defense does not lead you into a series of contradictory statements.
4. Lying to Your Auto Accident Lawyer
Effective communication between you and your lawyer is a must before the trial. You must not lie or hide the truth from your lawyer. If there is something that the defense can target your case on, your lawyer should know about it. If you have a communication gap with your lawyer during the trial, he/she will not be able to help you when things go south.
Communicate openly with your lawyer and tell him/her all the details about the accident. Do not miss out on any minor detail thinking that it is inconsequential in the long run. A smart defense lawyer will pick on the details of the case and try to lead you into an admission of guilt.
5. Signing a Release Form
This is one of the most common mistakes committed by novice individuals. A few hospitals ask you to sign a release form as soon as you are admitted. If you sign a release form, you give up the right to use a third party for the accident. In such cases, you lose the case even before it begins. Even the best lawyers cannot help you once you sign such a form.
Therefore, it is extremely important for you to have a lawyer check every form before you sign them. You should call your lawyer immediately once you are admitted into a hospital and before you sign the forms.
6. Filling the No-Fault Form Incorrectly
A no-fault form has details about the rules and regulations that you should be ideally following on the road. If you have committed even a minor mistake that led to the accident, you should mention it in the no-fault form. Hiding important facts that are relevant to the case will hamper your reliability and the jury will lose faith in you.
Your lawyer can help you fill the no-fault form correctly and ensure that you fill in all the right details without fail. Do not hide the truth from your lawyer and you should be good to go.
7. Not Collecting The Evidence Correctly
Ideally, you should try collecting the evidence from the moment the accident first occurs. You should take the pictures of the scene of the accident and collect the full contact information of the person at fault. If possible, you should also collect the statements of the people nearby who witnessed the accident.
Once you have collected all the evidence that you can, leave the rest up to your lawyer. The best lawyers have the necessary resources and teams to collect evidence for you. They can approach the state traffic department and get CCTV footage of the accident if any. This footage will help the lawyer strengthen your case further.
8. Not Practicing Your Plea Before the Trial
The speech that you give at a trial is like poetry recitation. You need to spend enough time memorizing your lines and practicing your plea in front of an unbiased audience before the trial. If you do not practice your plea, the chances of making a mistake in front of the jury increase exponentially.
You should discuss the details of your plea and accident with your lawyer. The lawyer will then edit your plea and remove all the words from it that might suggest a guilty conscience at your end. Once you have the final plea ready, memorize it and practice it repeatedly before the audience.
9. Not Approaching the Right Authorities for Medical and Car Repair Checkup
The court does not accept medical reports by an uncertified doctor or physician as admissible proof. You need to approach the right authorities to get the complete medical checkup. The same goes true for the details on the vehicle repair. Ideally, you should always approach a certified mechanic shop to get an estimate on the repairs of the vehicle.
Once you have collected the invoices for the car repair and medical treatments, hand them over to your lawyer. The lawyer should file the documents in an organized fashion so that the jury considers them as admissible pieces of evidence for the trial.
10. Posting Details About Trial on Social Media
People addicted to social media have a habit of posting a lot of personal content on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts. If you have recently been in a car accident, you must not post any details about the accident or your condition on social media. If you are planning on taking the case to trial, you need to stay extremely judicious about the information that you leak to the outside world.
The defense lawyers can dig into your social media profiles and find some dirt on you that puts you in the crosshairs of the jury. Ideally, the defense should not possess any piece of information without the permission of your lawyer.
11. Not Negotiating the Settlement Offer
One of the biggest mistakes committed by a novice individual is not negotiating the settlement offer. Smart insurance companies and defense lawyers will try and settle the case out of the court. They will never want to take the case of a car accident to the court if they know that their client is at fault.
The defense will make a settlement offer that is well below what you really deserve. It is their job to save money for the insurance company. Even if the settlement amount seems huge and life-changing, you must resist the urge to accept it right away. A professional lawyer can always get you a better deal. Most professional lawyers can negotiate with the defense to get you a deal that is exponentially larger than the first deal made by them.
12. Talking to the Defense Lawyers Without A Lawyer
The defense lawyers will try to get details about your accident directly from you. They will try and reach you on the phone, email, text, etc. The smartest defense lawyers will also show up at your door asking for more information on the case.
In such cases, you should never talk to a defense lawyer without your lawyer in the room. Ideally, all communication with the defense should happen through your lawyer. You are not obligated to reply to any defense lawyer unless you are on the stand during the trial. You should notify your lawyer about all the communication attempts made by the defense lawyers.
13. Applying for a Settlement Case Too Late
Another one of the mistakes that impact your overall settlement amounts is applying for the case a little too late. Ideally, you should start preparing your case from the moment you first feel the impact of the accident. Start collecting evidence from the scene of the accident and contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
The top legal firms have multiple connections in the judicial system that helps them speed up the settlement process for you. They can leverage these contacts to get your forms processed faster than the rest. The lawyers from these firms have the experience of filling hundreds of case forms. Therefore, they can complete the entire procedure within a few weeks.
14. Not Renewing Driving Licenses
A few car accident trials can stretch for several months. If your driving license is expired or is on the verge of expiring during the trial, you must get it renewed as soon as possible. In short, you should have all your identity documents and pieces of evidence up to date before the trial.
15. Using Tips and Tricks for TV Shows in a Real-Life Case
One of the other common mistakes committed by individuals includes the use of tips and tricks from TV shows. The world of entertainment has brought us several popular shows that revolve around the judicial system. The lawyers in these TV shows look extremely cool while fighting the case. They also use heavy judicial terms to make you feel that they are the real deal.
If you are a fan of such shows, you must control your urge to rely on them for such cases. You should not try and act like an expert based on the knowledge that you get from such shows. In fact, you should let a professional auto accident lawyer take the reigns to your case. Let him/her decide what is best for you. A reliable lawyer is like your best friend. He/she will help you get the best deal on the table.
Even a single mistake from this long list of mistakes can ruin your auto accident case completely. In the worst-case scenario, you might not only end up with no settlement amount, instead but also end up paying the party at fault. The defense lawyers are extremely smart, and they will do everything in their power to win the case for their clients. In such scenarios, you must rely on a professional auto accident lawyer for the proceedings of the case.
The best lawyers can assess a herniated disc from a car accident to get you a good settlement amount at the end of the trial. Therefore, if you have recently been in a car accident. Consult a professional lawyer right away!