Top 10 Things NOT TO DO after a Car Accident

It may sound silly, but these innocent errors can negatively affect your auto accident case.

Even if you are trying to do and say the right things, there are many ways you can hurt your case.

The Cohen Legal Team has identified what we believe are the TOP 10 mistakes you can make.  You may have a legitimate case and you don’t want to ruin it.  This list will help you prevent innocent mistakes your insurance company and defense lawyer may one day try to use against you.

1. DON’T SIGN YOUR RIGHTS AWAY
Do NOT sign anything until you check with your car accident attorney.  Some of these releases have fine print waiving future injury claims or allowing an at-fault insurance company to access your medical records and violate your privacy. Check with your attorney first BEFORE you sign anything.

2. DON’T LIE
This mistake is pretty easy to avoid.  The consequences can be disastrous for those who lie.  Always be truthful to your attorney because providing false information on an insurance application can be detrimental and can lead major problems.

3. DON’T MISS DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS
Listen to your doctors, and follow through on their advice. There’s never a reason or excuse to miss a doctor’s appointment. Not going to the doctor may be interpreted as a sign that you are not hurt, or don’t take your car accident lawsuit seriously. It’s very important for you to show that you are working hard to get better and keeping appointments is an important part of that. Also, when you are at the doctor’s, be mindful of what you say. For example, never say “My attorney said…”.
Also, anytime your doctor refers you to a new doctor or you want to switch doctors, please advise your attorney immediately.

4. DON’T MAKE MISTAKES ON YOUR NO FAULT FORMS
Paperwork involved in No Fault claims include the submission of forms for lost wages or medical bills. These forms are required for you to receive reimbursement/payment, but the accuracy of these submissions is critical. If your submission is inaccurate, it can result in losing all No Fault benefits. Mistakes – even innocent a mistakes – can get any accident victim labeled a “fraud” and can result in the termination of all of your No Fault insurance benefits.

5. DON’T GET CAUGHT ON SURVEILLANCE
Expect that your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will conduct surveillance and hire investigators to take photos and videos of you at some time during your case.  Be aware.  Most people will understand if you had a good day, and attempted to do something, but no one understands when an auto accident victim denies something, that is later caught on surveillance video in contradiction.

6. DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR CASE
Insurance adjusters, defense lawyers, and sometimes jurors may try to contact you. Do NOT talk about your case with ANYONE hired by the at-fault driver or insurance company. If an adjuster wants to ask about your case, have her call your car accident attorney.

7. DON’T GET CAUGHT ON SOCIAL MEDIA (i.e. Facebook, Twitter)
Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will investigate your Facebook, Twitter and related social media accounts, blogs or web pages – even when set as ‘private’ – and look for things that can help them avoid taking full responsibility for the harms they’ve caused. The purpose of this Internet research is to attempt to show that you are not as injured as you claim. Please be very careful about postings and photos of your activities. Avoid posting new items.

8. DON’T APPLY TOO LATE
There’s a one-year time limit to apply for benefits for a first-party No-Fault case in Maryland. Maryland’s No-Fault law covers important auto insurance benefits such as wage loss or medical bills. These benefits are generally paid by the car accident victim’s auto insurance carrier. If you do not apply within one year, you will not be able to receive your No-Fault insurance benefits.

9. DON’T DISPOSE OF IMPORTANT EVIDENCE
Save all pill bottles, casts, braces, prescriptions and any other items from your doctors. This is evidence of your personal injuries, and it must be preserved.
Anytime you a visible injury, take pictures. Or contact your car accident lawyer and he will send a photographer to document your injuries. Videos are also great tools to show a jury or an insurance company adjuster just how difficult things have been in time following your personal injury or after a surgery. In addition, take pictures of car damage. Crash repair estimates are often misleading and don’t reflect the full amount of vehicle damage.

10. DON’T IGNORE YOUR ATTORNEY
When working on a case, clients often say they heard about a friend’s financial recovery. Please be aware that every case is different, every injury is different and every client is different. It’s important to understand that our legal team is as interested as you are in getting you the best possible settlement. It’s our job and we do it very well.

The best advice remains the simplest: call your car accident lawyer at (410) 657-2515 if you have a question, and certainly before doing something that can have an important impact on your case.

COHEN LEGAL TEAM IS HERE FOR YOU!
We understand the physical, emotional and psychological hardship you’re experiencing from your injuries. We care and our relationship with you is very important now, and in the future.

August 15, 2015