Avoid These Seven Deadly Personal Injury Lawsuit Sins (Part I)

Okay, in reality, none of these actions or behaviors will actually cause you to physically expire. However, they can make life very difficult for you in the aftermath of a personal injury accident. It is common to assume that once you have been injured that your ability to recover damages (and the value of these damages) is set in stone. This is simply not true: In fact, your actions following your injury accident can have as great of an impact on your ability to recover damages and the value of those damages as can the facts that led to the accident. Avoid these seven “deadly sins” to give yourself the greatest opportunity to succeed in your lawsuit:

  1. Being Apologetic

Nothing sinks a personal injury lawsuit faster than admissions of fault or liability by the injured plaintiff. In every jurisdiction, admissions made by one party in a lawsuit are admissible without the need for the party themselves to testify. This means that if you say “I’m sorry,” “I wasn’t looking where I was going,” “I’m so clumsy,” or anything of this nature, expect that the other party in your lawsuit will bring this up in your lawsuit and argue that you share some, if not all, of the blame for causing the accident.

  1. Being Tough

While one might assume that only men would attempt to act tough, women too may try to minimize the severity of their injuries following a personal injury accident. Men and women alike may feel as if they do not have time to be sick or injured and/or cannot afford to miss time from work. As a result, they may delay seeking medical evaluation and treatment. Not only can this result in injuries becoming worse and more complicated to treat (and thereby increasing the patient’s costs and recovery time), but failing to seek medical treatment and following the doctor’s advice following an injury can be considered negligent behavior that reduces the amount of your recovery.

  1. Procrastinating

When it comes to your injury lawsuit, you only have a limited amount of time in which to investigate the cause(s) of your accident, identify the responsible party or parties, and file your complaint for damages. This time limit is contained in the state’s statute of limitations and begins running on the date of your accident. While several years may seem like a long time, the truth is that this time can run very quickly given all that you must do following an accident.

  1. Relying on Your Memory

By the time your personal injury lawsuit is resolved you will have told your version of events to various individuals several times. When your version of events is not consistent from one telling to the next, it negatively impacts your credibility and makes it more difficult for a judge or jury to believe you. This is why you should write down in detail the facts of your injury as soon as you can after the accident occurs. Keep this document in a safe place and refer to it anytime you need to recount how your accident happened, whether it be for a doctor, your attorney, an insurance adjustor, and/or for the judge or jury.

Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident is one of the best ways of ensuring you do not engage in activity that jeopardizes your recovery. Attorney Michael R. Lawless knows what it takes to provide you with the greatest opportunity for success in your case and will help guide you throughout the civil lawsuit process. Contact Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless by calling (800) 734-3771 and allow his knowledge and experience benefit you and your case.

Avoid These Seven Deadly Personal Injury Lawsuit Sins (Part II)

In a previous post we looked at four behaviors or attitudes that can severely and negatively impact your ability to recover full and fair compensation after a personal injury accident. Being apologetic, acting “tough” or as if you are not seriously injured, procrastinating, and relying on one’s memory can individually be the difference between obtaining the monetary damages you need to address your medical bills and other costs and obtaining nothing at all (or something in between). These behaviors and attitudes, however, are only four of the seven “deadly sins” of personal injury lawsuits. In addition to avoiding those four attitudes or behaviors, you should also refrain from:

  1. Being Aloof

Being aloof after your personal injury accident – that is, simply standing around waiting for the police to arrive or the tow truck driver to come and tow your car – can rob you of a valuable opportunity to gather evidence and identify witnesses that you may need later. If you are able to do so, take the time to speak with any individuals who have gathered near the accident site to see if they witnessed the accident. If they indicate that they did, take down their name and contact information (it is not necessary to ask them what they saw at this time – that can come later). If you have a camera or a smartphone capable of taking pictures, take photographs of the accident scene. This would include detailed pictures of the vehicles involved (if applicable), your injuries, the site of the accident, any road signs or traffic lights near the scene, skid marks or fluid puddles on the roadway, the condition of the floor or stairs – try to document everything you can so that the scene of the accident can be reconstructed later.

  1. Being Unorganized

It is not enough to simply show that another person caused you to suffer injuries – in your personal injury lawsuit, you must establish how much the other person injured you. This means you need to provide the judge or jury with a dollar figure that corresponds to the extent of your losses – and be able to back this number up with bills, invoices, and other objective evidence of your loss. Immediately after your personal injury you should purchase a folder or other storage device and keep everything pertaining to your personal injury accident inside the storage device. This would include bills and invoices, medical records, photographs, repair estimates, and other similar documents. (It may be helpful to make a copy of every document before storing it and giving the copy to your attorney or a trusted family member in case your copies are destroyed or go missing.)

  1. Being a Victim

In one sense, you are a victim if another person’s negligence or reckless behavior has caused you to suffer an injury. However, if you wish to protect your legal rights and interests, you cannot act as a victim and wait for someone to assist you. You must be proactive in asserting your rights. This includes ensuring you receive medical treatment and answers to your questions, informing your doctors of any medication side effects you are experiencing or if you are not obtaining any benefit from your treatments, seeking legal assistance and answers to your legal questions, and taking other actions necessary to advance your legal case.

Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless is available to assist personal injury victims in seeking full and fair compensation following a personal injury accident or car crash. Michael R. Lawless has helped numerous clients obtain compensation under a variety of circumstances. Contact his office today by calling (800) 734-3771.