When you’re dealing with a personal injury case, there are some things you shouldn’t do if you want your case to go smoothly. Car accident attorneys in Houston can advise you on the things you should avoid doing throughout your case, and many of them are outlined below.
Ask Car Accident Attorneys in Houston: 7 Things You Should Never Do in a Personal Injury Case
1. Don’t Accept a Settlement Without Consulting a Lawyer
Never accept a settlement without first running it by an attorney. Sometimes the settlement you’ll be offered won’t be enough to cover the damages you’ve suffered. If the attorney you talk to makes calculations that show you may be entitled to more, then they might take on your case and help you when a larger sum.
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2. Don’t Contact the Other Side
Don’t attempt to contact the other driver’s lawyer, their insurance company, or even the other driver. This will do more harm than good. The only person you should deal with during your case is your attorney, and your attorney will deal with your insurance company.
The other side’s insurance company or lawyer might call you. Be prepared if this happens. Get the name of the person calling you, and write it down if you can. Answer the questions honestly, don’t provide any information that they don’t already know, don’t guess answers, and don’t be afraid to tell them when you don’t know the answer to a question. If the other side contacts you, call your attorney immediately after the call.
3. Don’t Post About the Case Online
Don’t post anything about your case online. Don’t say that you could win compensation, don’t talk about your injuries, and ideally, don’t even mention that you’ve been in a car accident. Keeping quiet on social media is best until your case settles, and even then, it’s a good idea to keep the details to yourself for privacy reasons.
4. Don’t Talk to Others About Your Case
As few people as possible should know that you’ve been in a car accident. Your immediate family and your doctors will know, and of course, your attorney and the insurance company will know. You may also have to tell your employer, but avoid sharing too many details with them, too. Don’t tell anyone how much you could win, don’t go too in-depth about your injuries, and don’t talk about your emotional health.
It’s best if you keep this information from your immediate family, too. Your family may know that you’ve been injured, but getting very detailed about the injuries you sustained isn’t a good idea. Act as though you have to abide by the same attorney-client privilege as your attorney does—keep your case information to yourself.
5. Don’t Try To Negotiate on Your Own
Your attorney will have to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to get them to cover your damages. Your attorney will tell the company how much they’ve calculated your damages to be and present evidence to prove why they’ve come to this sum. The attorney and the company will then go back and forth with negotiations. This process can take weeks or months, and you just have to be patient.
Don’t contact the other insurance company to attempt to negotiate on your own, as this may throw a spanner in the works. Your attorney knows how to handle this best.
6. Don’t Ignore Your Attorney’s Advice
Your attorney gives you advice for a reason, and it’s always the best advice for the situation. If your attorney advises you to take a settlement that’s lower than you initially thought it would be, then follow this advice. They know you won’t likely get a higher offer. If your attorney tells you to deny a lower settlement, then you should do this, too, as they believe you could win more with further negotiation.
Of course, it’s your right to accept a lower settlement if you want to avoid more back and forth, but you deserve to win as much as you can to cover your damages.
7. Don’t Go Back to Work
Don’t go back to work until your injuries have fully healed. Your employer may insist you return to work once you reach maximum medical improvement, but if you still feel ill, are in pain, or are mentally unable to go back to work, then you don’t have to just yet. Talk to your attorney about your rights regarding returning to work long after a car accident. You deserve to heal.
As long as you avoid doing the things above, your case should go smoothly. They can feel like they’re dragging on a while, but patience is key. Once negotiations are complete, and you’ve been offered a settlement adequate to cover your damages, then you’ll be very glad that you stuck it out and let your attorney fight your corner.