Have you ever been involved in a car crash? Ever slipped off the frozen driveway and ended up with some broken bones? We most certainly hope not! These things are scary enough when you see them in the news or in a movie, let alone having to deal with them in your own daily life.
However, considering the advanced civilization that we all live in, the sad reality is – having an experience of that sort is a very real possibility, and when that happens, you want to be able to make the best claim possible. We talked to Tim Louis & Company lawyers, a team of experts from Vancouver, who revealed the most common mistakes that people make in these cases. Read on and learn how to avoid them!
Not sharing the psychological or emotional aspects of your injury with your lawyer
Jumping in deep right off the bat, this is something that a vast number of people do – even though they really should not go that way. Maybe you would feel ashamed. Maybe you would be scared of sounding like a drama llama. But the experts advise to disclose all consequences of your experience because they all matter.
Are you having nightmares, are you unable to fall or stay asleep? Do you break out in a sweat when you remember what happened? Are you scared to take the stairs now? Maybe you started drinking more, yelling more, or becoming withdrawn and forgetful since your accident?
Whatever horrible injury you suffered – broken bones, internal bleeding, concussion, burns, you name it – it is often the mental elements of it that are the worst part of the story. Never be ashamed of telling this stuff to your lawyer, just like you would tell it to a medical professional.
It will help both of these advisors to get a better grasp of your situation and figure out how to help you in the best way. It is okay to feel the way you do. If you are looking to learn more about how an accident can affect your feelings, thought patterns, and legal results, check out this informative study.
Not telling your doctor about all of the symptoms that appear
This one is right in line with the previous point, but we are going to stress it just in case. When your solicitor sends you off to be examined by a medical expert, you are given a unique opportunity to influence the final result of your claim. Accurate and detailed medical reports are the essential backbone of any successful personal injury case.
Remember, your doctor is a medic, not a mind reader. You cannot realistically expect them to ask you all the exact right questions and to predict all the subtleties that may have taken a turn for the left field. If they are not “extracting” some piece of information that you think is important, speak up. There is no need to feel afraid or embarrassed – you are not meddling in their job, in fact, you can bet they will appreciate you taking a more proactive role for a change!
Not being surgically thorough in gathering your evidence
You need to have every single miniscule detail and you need to have it in the sharpest HD resolution that you can get. Nothing is irrelevant. Treat the scene of your accident like a murder scene and record every single thing, because unless you do, you will not be able to prove that your nasty experience was the result of some stranger’s negligence or disrespect for law.
If you have a phone with a camera or anything that can make pictures and video, make good use of it. Take photos of everything and write it all down, too. The first thing to do is talk to everyone who happened to be there, because any potential witnesses tend to become remarkably unwilling to help you out once a little time has passed, so get them while they are fresh! You will obviously need to photograph or record the positions of any vehicles that were involved in the accident and get your hands on all the relevant paperwork.
However, take the extra time and take careful note of all of the minor factors, too, because they will have major roles to play later on. This especially applies to any environmental conditions that may have contributed to the unhappy event. For example, if it happened during the day, which direction was the sunlight coming from, did it blind anyone? If it happened at night, how well was the street or road lit? Was there any foliage that prevented you from seeing the road clearly?
Take into account the weather at the time: rain, snow, frost coating, slick mud etc. can be major contributors to rogue wheels. Violent wind may cause a branch to fall into a bad spot and may even derail lighter vehicles – it is especially dangerous for cyclists and bikers. Most of us would never stop to think “Did the wind tip me over?”, but if you want to present the court with the strongest possible claim and win, you will need to have as much empirical data on every detail as humanly possible.
Not asking your questions for fear of looking stupid
Never, ever trust the rosy twenty-seconds advertisements that the TV or radio bombards you with. They are simple because they have to sell. Things are never that easy, and you have the absolute right to ask about what is happening with your claim. It is perfectly okay to not know basic stuff – legislature is probably not your area of expertise, and you have no reason to know it in advance. Do you think your attorney could do your job as well as you?
Personal injury law is touchy, rarely with black/white answers. Don’t be afraid that your lawyer will see you as stupid, because they never will. Ask, ask, ask!