In a previous post we looked at four behaviors or attitudes that can severely and negatively impact your ability to recover full and fair compensation after a personal injury accident. Being apologetic, acting “tough” or as if you are not seriously injured, procrastinating, and relying on one’s memory can individually be the difference between obtaining the monetary damages you need to address your medical bills and other costs and obtaining nothing at all (or something in between). These behaviors and attitudes, however, are only four of the seven “deadly sins” of personal injury lawsuits. In addition to avoiding those four attitudes or behaviors, you should also refrain from:
- Being Aloof
Being aloof after your personal injury accident – that is, simply standing around waiting for the police to arrive or the tow truck driver to come and tow your car – can rob you of a valuable opportunity to gather evidence and identify witnesses that you may need later. If you are able to do so, take the time to speak with any individuals who have gathered near the accident site to see if they witnessed the accident. If they indicate that they did, take down their name and contact information (it is not necessary to ask them what they saw at this time – that can come later). If you have a camera or a smartphone capable of taking pictures, take photographs of the accident scene. This would include detailed pictures of the vehicles involved (if applicable), your injuries, the site of the accident, any road signs or traffic lights near the scene, skid marks or fluid puddles on the roadway, the condition of the floor or stairs – try to document everything you can so that the scene of the accident can be reconstructed later.
- Being Unorganized
It is not enough to simply show that another person caused you to suffer injuries – in your personal injury lawsuit, you must establish how much the other person injured you. This means you need to provide the judge or jury with a dollar figure that corresponds to the extent of your losses – and be able to back this number up with bills, invoices, and other objective evidence of your loss. Immediately after your personal injury you should purchase a folder or other storage device and keep everything pertaining to your personal injury accident inside the storage device. This would include bills and invoices, medical records, photographs, repair estimates, and other similar documents. (It may be helpful to make a copy of every document before storing it and giving the copy to your attorney or a trusted family member in case your copies are destroyed or go missing.)
- Being a Victim
In one sense, you are a victim if another person’s negligence or reckless behavior has caused you to suffer an injury. However, if you wish to protect your legal rights and interests, you cannot act as a victim and wait for someone to assist you. You must be proactive in asserting your rights. This includes ensuring you receive medical treatment and answers to your questions, informing your doctors of any medication side effects you are experiencing or if you are not obtaining any benefit from your treatments, seeking legal assistance and answers to your legal questions, and taking other actions necessary to advance your legal case.
Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless is available to assist personal injury victims in seeking full and fair compensation following a personal injury accident or car crash. Michael R. Lawless has helped numerous clients obtain compensation under a variety of circumstances. Contact his office today by calling (800) 734-3771.