There are three common mistakes that we regularly see when potential clients come to us seeking help after being injured in a car accident. While we can sometimes correct these errors and save your claim, often, these mistakes are incredibly harmful to your claim and either destroy it altogether or severely diminish your ability to succeed.
The three most common mistakes that clients make after they have been hurt in a car wreck are:
- Waiting to contact an attorney
- Waiting or refusing to seek medical treatment
- Refraining from telling our attorneys every detail about your car accident
Waiting to Contact an Attorney About Your Car Accident
The biggest mistake that many victims make in pretty much every type of personal injury claim is that they wait too long to speak with an attorney about their accident. Time is a very fragile thing, and it is even more delicate in the legal world.
If you wait too long to begin pursuing your injury claim, your delay can have catastrophic effects on the outcome of your case.
First off, many people are not very familiar with the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against a defendant. While it is primarily meant to favor the defendant, this requirement ultimately benefits the plaintiff because it helps prevent the destruction or corruption of evidence.
The second harmful effect of waiting too long to find an attorney is that much of the necessary evidence is lost, destroyed, or tainted after long periods. It is frequently impossible to locate many witnesses after too much time has passed. Repeatedly we find that much of the evidence which proves the defendant’s guilt is often thrown away or somehow destroyed. This type of event can cripple your lawsuit, and unfortunately, is incredibly common in car accident cases.
By contacting our firm immediately after your car accident, we can ensure that the statute of limitations does not run, barring your claim from being filed. Additionally, we can preserve all the necessary evidence so that your claim is as strong as possible. For example, we can make sure that both cars involved in the accident are not destroyed and thrown away.
We need this physical evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault, or we might even use them to prove that a defective auto part caused your accident. If this evidence is not adequately preserved, then your claim would have no merit, and you would receive nothing.
Not Seeking Medical Treatment For All of Your Injuries Sustained in Your Car Accident
The second biggest mistake that many car accident victims make is that they do not see a doctor about their injuries. Many people are highly reluctant to go to the doctor. For that matter, many people are afraid of doctors and hospitals. While we understand your hesitancy, we cannot express how important it is that you seek medical attention.
To begin with, seeking medical treatment after your car accident may save your life. Even if you think that your injuries are minor and do not warrant a doctor’s or hospital visit, you may be mistaken. Only after undergoing a thorough exam by a licensed physician can we truly know the true extent of your injuries. You could easily have underlying issues that you do not know about until it is too late unless you see a doctor immediately after your car accident.
Second, to reach a successful resolution, we must sufficiently prove all of your damages in court. This means we must provide irrefutable evidence that you have been hurt and that you deserve compensation accordingly.
The only way to effectively establish your injuries and the amount of compensation you deserve is through detailed doctor’s reports and medical bills.
This means that even if you only have a relatively slight amount of pain, you need to have it documented by a respected physician to present it to the court.
Not Telling Your Car Accident Attorney Everything Due to Fear of Liability
Finally, we cannot stress the importance of you telling us the truth. We are here to help you, but the only way we can adequately help and advise you is if you tell us everything about the accident. It is not your job to discern what is relevant or what may potentially be considered harmful toward your lawsuit; that is why you have us. Our responsibility is to assess which facts are crucial to a successful outcome and what other issues may not be as important.
Many clients are afraid to tell us everything that occurred before, during, and after the accident. They are worried that some minor issue might show that they might be partially responsible for the car accident. In Texas, we do not have strict comparative fault; we have a modified relative fault. Severe comparative fault means that if you are shown to be more than 50% liable, that you will receive nothing for your injuries.
In contrast, modified comparative fault allows you to receive whatever percentage which the defendant is liable. Therefore, if the court determines that you are 55% responsible and the defendant is only 45% reliable, the defendant will be required to pay you for 45% of your damages.
Consequently, even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you can still receive payment for some of your injuries.
However, if you fail to tell us everything, we will not be adequately prepared to negotiate your claim, and we will not be sufficiently prepared to argue your claim in court. This lack of knowledge and preparation could cause you to lose your claim entirely and, ultimately, receive nothing. This is why it is so vital that you tell us everything that happened. We can only help you if we know everything about your case.
It is important that our clients have complete trust in us – this is why we are available to speak with our clients 24/7. We believe in building strong relationships with our clients because the more they trust us, the better we can help them.
Contact Our Attorneys ASAP!
If you have been injured in a car accident, our Houston car accident attorneys can help you. We can make sure that all the necessary evidence is preserved to have the strongest case possible. We can ensure that you receive adequate medical treatment for your injuries, and if you do not have a doctor, we can even refer you to one that we regularly use and have a good relationship with.
And if you are dedicated to telling us every detail about your case, we promise that we will work hard and do our very best to make sure that you receive everything you deserve. To schedule a meeting with one of our experienced Houston car accident attorneys, call Joe I. Zaid & Associates at (281) 990-5200.