Four Mistakes to Avoid in a California Personal Injury Case
A lot can go wrong in a personal injury case, especially when you don’t have an attorney’s help. Not only are there many mistakes you could make, the higher your case’s value, the more expensive the mistakes become.
If you are seriously injured in an accident, learn about your legal rights and the best way to proceed. Not everyone in an accident needs a lawyer, but you may. Contact us at Callaway & Wolf at 415-541-0300 to schedule a free case evaluation. After talking to us, it’s your choice to hire a lawyer or not.
You may make mistakes without realizing it, especially if you’re involved in a complex insurance claim or you’re suing someone.
Some of those errors include:
- Delaying Medical Treatment
Get medical attention as soon as you can after an accident. That can be in an ambulance, you can drive yourself if it’s safe, call a cab, or have a friend drive you. Find out how you may be injured sooner than later.
You’re body’s under a lot of stress after an accident, whether you’re in a vehicle, crossing the street, or slipping and falling. Adrenaline can dull your pain, and you may feel better than you are. You may not feel a need to see a healthcare professional right away because you won’t think it’ll be worth the bother.
The adrenaline and general stress you’re under can mask your injuries. Not only are they undiagnosed and untreated longer, by going about your day you may make your injuries worse. It’s also a bad idea from a legal perspective. The longer you wait to be examined, the greater the chance the insurance company will claim you’re faking the injury or it happened after you claim.
The initial physician’s visit creates the first medical link between the accident and your injury. Without that connection you have no case. The longer and stronger it is, the better it is for your claim.
- Continuing To Use Social Media
Insurance companies love social media. An insurance company will investigate your case, and part of that will be checking your social media posts. They can be deadly to insurance claims when the claimant paints a bleak picture of injury and pain but posts photos and videos of them enjoying themselves and having a good time on social media.
The more pictures, photos, and videos you post, the more likely your posts and claim will contradict. You want compensation because it’s hard to walk, yet there’s a picture of you walking your dog. You explain to a friend that A, B, and C happened during the accident, but your claim states C, D, and E.
Your credibility is too important to throw away. Do yourself, your family, and your attorney a favor. Put your hands up and step away from social media.
- Discussing Your Case With Others
This is along the same lines, and the rule applies to in-person conversations. People you talk to about the accident, your injuries, and how you’re impacted may need to testify (even if they don’t want to) about what you said. The insurance company can require their statements to see if you’re giving conflicting accounts of the accident, your injuries, and recovery. If people ask you about these matters, keep things very simple and blame your attorney for not allowing you to go into details.
- Representing Yourself
Not having an attorney may or may not be a mistake, depending on the value and complexity of your case. If you’ve suffered a minimal injury and not much property damage, the time and expense of getting legal counsel isn’t worth it. No matter the nature of your accident, contact our office. If there’s not much we can do for you, we’ll tell you and make suggestions on how you can resolve the issue in your favor.
If you have suffered a serious injury, going it alone will be a mistake. Chances are excellent you’ve never filed an expensive, complex insurance claim. You don’t know negligence or insurance law, and you’ve never been part of a lawsuit. You have little or no experience negotiating. Your case’s settlement value is a mystery, so you don’t know where to start.
Even attorneys who don’t practice personal injury law shouldn’t represent themselves. A tax, divorce, or real estate attorney injured in an accident should retain an attorney for the same reasons you should. They lack the knowledge and experience to fully protect their interests and legal rights when going up against a very sophisticated, well-funded opponent with their own attorneys.
Calling Callaway & Wolf Won’t Be a Mistake
If you or a loved one are severely injured because of another’s mistake, you can trust the lawyers at Callaway & Wolf to get you the fair compensation you deserve. Your consultation is free, and there’s no risk to you because since we work on a contingency fee basis. Call us at 415-541-0300 today and schedule an appointment at our San Francisco office or with our Oakland personal injury attorneys.
Boone Callaway is a personal injury & medical malpractice lawyer in San Francisco who has been working with clients in the Bay Area for over 25 years. Mr. Callaway is one of only a few personal injury litigators in San Francisco who is a Super Lawyer, AV Rated and is also a member of ABOTA – American Board of Trial Advocates.