Auto accidents are frightening and it’s difficult to navigate insurance companies and legal claims without help. Learn the right steps to take after an accident that will help your lawyer win your case.
The emotional and physical effects accidents leave behind are significant and often life-changing — not being fairly compensated afterward for resulting injuries is an added stress you don’t deserve during an already traumatic time
Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be your reality. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what to do after an auto, motorcycle, truck, or pedestrian accident so you’re in the best position to win your injury case.
That’s what we discussed on an episode of the Open Mike podcast with Tom Calcatera, the longest-tenured and most experienced lawyer at the Mike Morse Law Firm. He’s been fighting insurance companies for over 40 years and has all the insight you need to secure your chances of being fairly compensated after an accident.
Read on to learn:
- How to help your lawyer win your legal case
- The do’s and don’ts of social media while you’re pursuing a claim
- How insurance companies can use surveillance against you
- Why you should call a lawyer after an accident and report all injuries as soon as they happen
Help Your Lawyer Win Your Personal Injury Case
It’s important to have a good relationship with your lawyer as you go through the legal process.
That could mean your lawyer meets and speaks with you frequently about your case, but the best thing you can do as a client is to communicate honestly.
To win your legal case and receive the compensation you deserve, you and your lawyer have to be partners who trust each other and communicate well. How can they deal with your problems if you don’t tell the truth?
Help your lawyer help you by being honest and open. Sharing past arrests or incidents may be uncomfortable, but remember: Anything you share with your lawyer is confidential.
Withholding information only makes their job harder, and that’s not in your best interest. Worse yet, the opposing counsel may find out first and that can severely impact your credibility.
The Dangers of Social Media (and Insurance Companies)
When you’re in the middle of a personal injury case, keep this in mind: Social media is not your friend.
Your car crash lawyer may not explicitly advise you to “go dark,” or temporarily deactivate your accounts, but it would be smart to do so because social media can make it difficult for your lawyer to get you compensated.
Why? Well, social media posts can easily be misconstrued. Anything you share can be used against you by the insurance companies that make it their mission to avoid paying out your claim.
Yes, you can be diligent and make sure your posts are free of any implications, but even being tagged in a photo of yourself at a children’s birthday party, for example, could make the difference between winning and losing your legal case.
In addition to monitoring your Facebook and Twitter, insurance companies will often run surveillance on your day-to-day activities.
Despite your injury, you still need to live your life, and you might even be mobile enough to take care of a few things on your own — but insurance companies believe otherwise. Something as trivial as carrying a few groceries into your home can and will be distorted to show that you’re well and capable and undeserving of a reward. Tom even advises his clients to “get a receipt showing what you bought that day,” so your purchase of paper towels aren’t embellished as a bag full of bricks.
Here’s another tip: To avoid hurting your case, your car crash lawyer can request the full surveillance footage to prove the insurance companies’ claims about your capabilities are false.
The primary goal for these surveillance agents is to prove that you are lying through any means. Don’t make it easier for them.
The Best Way to Handle Injuries After an Accident
The best thing you can do for your personal injury case is to get checked out by a medical professional after an auto or pedestrian accident.
Of course, don’t exaggerate or lie but don’t undermine your symptoms either. You’ll have the best chances of winning your case if you’re honest every step of the way, and that includes explaining your pain or discomfort.
But most importantly, if you’ve experienced serious impairment of body functions or your lifestyle has changed, the law says you’re entitled to fair compensation for your pain and suffering.
That’s why you should also call a lawyer if you’ve been injured — it’s free, so there’s no downside to it. The tricky part, however, is you may not immediately feel your symptoms due to the rush of adrenaline. Despite feeling fine, you should always get checked out after an accident.
You don’t have to follow up on it, and hopefully, your aches and pains go away within a few weeks, but what happens if they don’t and you didn’t get checked out right away?
Well, you can always see a doctor about your injuries, but here’s the risk in waiting to get a check-up after the accident: “The insurance company could claim you are lying just because you didn’t make a report at the first possible opportunity,” explains Tom.
When talking to your lawyer about your injuries, help your legal case by sharing as much as possible. Since we tend to focus most on the pain we can actively feel, it’s not uncommon for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) like concussions to go undetected. Here are some TBI symptoms to look out for that will help you and your lawyer:
- Lethargy or fatigue
- A different sense of taste/smell
- Blurred or double vision
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory loss
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to get checked out by your doctor or a neurologist. Additionally, share this information with your car crash lawyer as well as if you hit the windshield, headrest, or anything else in the vehicle during the accident.
Every bit of information is helpful.
In the event of an auto, motorcycle, truck, or pedestrian accident, you can win and get the most money out of your personal injury case when you communicate well with your attorney, maintain credibility, and immediately seek medical attention.
This article is based on an episode of Open Mike, my weekly podcast featuring key Detroit figures and other guests discussing the topics you care about – we’re going to tell you the truth about the law, your rights, and current events both here in Detroit and nationwide.
Subscribe today through your preferred app!