4 Mistakes to Avoid That Might Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

Are you thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit? If so, you’re on the right track, because trying to negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance company directly is a losing battle. Not only do they place a cap on all claims, but they also low ball offers and won’t consider more than medical expenses. That means if you can’t work for a few weeks while you heal, you can’t recover lost wages, and if you don’t have a solid savings account, your household bills will pile up quickly.

While it’s a wise move to file a personal injury lawsuit, there are certain things you should keep in mind to avoid losing your case unnecessarily.

  1. Don’t accept an insurance company’s settlement offer

In almost all cases, once you accept a settlement from an insurance company, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit. You can’t change your mind after signing the paperwork, even if you have yet to cash a check.

If you’re on the fence about accepting an offer or filing a lawsuit, consult a personal injury attorney to get their expert advice. In some cases, it can be better to file a lawsuit, but it all depends on the details of your situation.

  1. Not hiring an attorney to represent you

Not hiring a skilled personal injury attorney is the biggest mistake you could make. Trying to represent yourself is a bad idea and most people who do are not successful. There are a few outliers who have won cases pro se, but they are extremely rare. Besides, winning a personal injury case isn’t necessarily what matters. You might win on your own, but receive a settlement 10 times lower than what an attorney could get you. The insurance company will still low ball you, and knowing you’re pro se, they’ll drag it out as much as possible hoping you’ll get tired of negotiating and accept their offer.

Having an attorney will almost always, by default, increase the compensation you can get if negotiations are successful. Personal injury lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with third-parties, including insurance companies, to get clients the compensation they deserve. A lawyer will know what your case is worth and will fight hard to get you every penny.

  1. Arguing with the judge

Unlike friendly arguments, there are huge consequences for arguing in a courtroom. Never ever argue with a judge. No matter how wrong you think they are, don’t approach the discussion in an argumentative manner. That’s not to say you can’t defend your position, offer further explanation, or make requests. It just means not being combative.

Hopefully, you have an attorney and they can direct you regarding how to express yourself to the judge without coming across as argumentative. Better yet, have your attorney speak for you to avoid miscommunications. Even rolling your eyes and shaking your head can get you into big trouble.

  1. Posting to social media

Social media might be part of your everyday life, but if you’re involved in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s best to avoid posting completely – don’t even try turning your profile private because you never know if one of your followers might leak something or talk about your situation on another platform. In some states, social media posts are considered discoverable evidence, and that’s reason enough not to post.

The problem is that posting photos of yourself at parties, events, concerts, or even going on vacation might give the impression that you aren’t injured, in pain, or disabled like you claim. It doesn’t matter if you’re legitimately in excruciating pain while you sit on the beach in Cancun – if you look happy and somehow made it there, your condition will be questioned.

Ranting and venting about anyone connected to the person or organization you’re suing for your injuries can be held against you to argue that you’re not actually injured, but are getting revenge. This type of content is often used to destroy credibility, so it’s best to avoid venting even when what you say is true.

Listen to your attorney for the best chance to win

Above all, your attorney knows best and it’s crucial that you take their advice. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know what to expect from a case like yours based on direct experience, and they will guide you toward the best case outcome. Your attorney knows how to play the game in the courtroom, so listen to them for the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome.