In order to win a car accident injury case, you and your lawyer must be able to demonstrate that the other driver's actions led to the accident, and thus also to your injuries. In the legal profession, this process is known as "establishing negligence." Sometimes establishing negligence in a car accident case is simple. Perhaps a driver ran a red light and t-boned your car, and the whole incident was caught on a public traffic camera. In most cases, however, establishing negligence is more complicated. You'll need to have solid proof that the other driver, and not yourself, is to blame for the accident. To gather that proof and win your case, you must avoid these common mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not gathering witness contact information.
If several eye witnesses give statements in which they describe the accident, and their descriptions confirm your assertions that the other driver is to blame, you'll have a much easier time winning your case. Unfortunately, many people fail to gather witness contact information at the scene of the accident, so when they find later on that witness statements could help their cases, they have nowhere to turn.
Police may gather witness contact information and include this in the accident report, so sometimes all you have to do to find witnesses is call the police station. If you're too badly injured to talk to witnesses after the accident, try posting on local forums and news sites to see if anyone who witnessed the accident is willing to step forward with information.
Mistake #2: Not seeking medical attention soon enough.
If you wait five days to see the doctor for an injury you claim was caused by the accident, it's difficult to prove that the injury was, indeed, caused by the accident and not something else that happened in those five days. Seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, and you'll have an easier time demonstrating that your injuries are, in fact, attributable to the collision. Additionally, keep all of your medical receipts related to the accident. This includes receipts for prescriptions, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, and surgery. In many states, you can even include the cost of transportation to and from doctors' offices in your personal injury claim. However, if you don't have proof you received a treatment, you'll never be compensated for it.
Mistake #3: Not taking clear, detailed pictures of the car.
It's common for injured victims to focus on their injuries, rather than the damage to the car. They take pictures of their broken legs or bruises, speak with lawyers, and call witnesses, and in the meantime, their cars are in the shop being repaired. Then, they find out that they need to have an expert assess the damage to the car to establish that the other driver caused the accident. The car is already repaired, so they cannot have this evaluation done, and they end up losing their case.
You can save yourself from this trap by having many detailed pictures taken of your car before you have it repaired. Make sure the lighting is good and that you capture every scratch and dent possible. Include the license plate in photographs as proof that the vehicle in the photos is your car.
If you can prove that the other driver is at fault for the accident, you can likely recoup your medical costs, lost wages, and perhaps even funds for pain and suffering through a personal injury case. Contact an experienced lawyer as early as possible in the process, and make sure you're gathering as much evidence as possible from the very beginning. Car accident cases can be uphill battles, but with the right attorney and a mountain of evidence, you'll stand a good chance of winning your case.
For more information, contact an experienced lawyer from a firm like Schiller, Kessler & Gomez, PLC.Share
13 March 2015
Too many single people assume they don't need to plan their estate. My brother fell into this category, and his unexpected passing left our entire family struggling to deal with his home, belongings, and financial accounts. It took nearly three years for the courts to set up a deal because he left no paperwork detailing how he wanted his estate divided. The situation immediately convinced me to work on my own estate, even though I'm still in my early 30's and don't have children or a spouse to worry about. Since it's a little harder to pick beneficiaries and estate managers when you're single, I collected the resources I used for making my own decisions and decided to publish them here on my blog. Use these resources before talking to an estate planning attorney so you're prepared for making hard decisions.