If you’ve been in a vehicular accident
in which the other driver is at fault, you may be legally entitled to damages. However, settlements are by no means guaranteed in car accident lawsuits, and many legitimate claims have been lost because the plaintiff made a mistake along the way that jeopardized or invalidated the case. To improve your chances of success with that car accident lawsuit, here are 5 critical mistakes that can ruin your car accident lawsuit.
1. Exaggerating (or outright lying)
It’s a common temptation for an accident victim to inflate the details of the incident, or sometimes lie outright, in an attempt to make their case more convincing and hopefully improve their chances for a win. In fact, failing to be completely truthful will have the exact opposite effect, likely getting your case thrown out. These days, evidence is plentiful, and if you’re lying, chances are you’ll be found out eventually. Tell the truth, document the evidence honestly, and let the facts speak for themselves.
2. Talking about the case
Treat your accident case by the same standard as if you’d been arrested and the police were reading you your rights: Assume that anything you say to the other side can and will be used against you. Do NOT talk about the accident to the at-fault party, their insurance company, or their lawyers without speaking to YOUR lawyer first. You could give them leverage to disprove your case in court without even realizing.
3. Signing papers or agreements too soon
Again, sometimes insurance companies can be tricky about paying less than your settlement is worth, or indeed paying at all. To be on the safe side, make a point of signing nothing, and agreeing to nothing, without your lawyer’s consideration and approval. A signature on the wrong form could cause you to waive your rights or accept a low-ball settlement.
4. Blabbing on social media
Don’t assume your social media is a safe place to discuss your accident lawsuit. It’s not. Even if your settings are set to private, anything you put on the Internet can be investigated and treated in the same manner as point two above. Many plaintiffs have inadvertently violated confidentiality agreements or made contradictory statements on their social media accounts, and it comes back to bite them. Don’t be one of those people. If you are unsure, just stay off or limit your use of social media until your case is complete.
5. Waiting too long to file
Here in Georgia, the Statute of Limitations for filing an accident suit is two years. If you have been in a car accident and believe you are owed damages, don’t procrastinate. Take enough time to get your documentation together, but be aware of the clock. Even if you file within the SOL period, some of your evidence could get “cold” over time.
At Sutton Slover, we handle personal injury cases exclusively, including car accident lawsuits. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation, and we can give you sound advice as to avoiding mistakes like the ones above. For more information, call us at 404.768.0292.