Top 5 Things that will Kill Your Case

1.     NOT REPORTING THE ACCIDENT OR INJURY:

If you are in a car accident and you were injured, you should call the police. Not calling the police leads to no formal investigation of the accident. Stories often change once someone realizes their insurance rates may go up. The police will detail the facts and list any known witnesses.  If you have a slip-and-fall accident, report your injury as soon as you can to the owner of the property. If you slipped at a business, ask for the manager of the company and write down the name of the person you reported the accident to. Ask to make a written report of the accident and to receive a copy of that report. 

2.     WITHHOLDING INFORMATION/NOT COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR ATTORNEY:

Your attorney needs to know everything about your case. Some clients exaggerate their symptoms or the circumstances of the accident to their attorney. Often the insurance company may put you under surveillance and they will definitely check all your social media websites such as Facebook. This is very damaging.  Keep your attorney informed of your treatment and your activities. If you receive any paperwork from the insurance company or someone else about the accident, forward it to your attorney. The insurance companies have their own investigators. Don't let the insurance company lawyer find out something before you have told your own attorney.  Bad news or history needs to be explained to your attorney as soon as possible so that a proper analysis and strategy can be formulated.  The worst position is for the attorney to be surprised down the road.

3.     FAILING TO TREAT FOR YOUR INJURY:

In today's busy world many people hate to go to the doctor. This is understandable, as it can be an unpleasant experience given the time out of your busy schedule. However, failing to treat will lead to the insurance company taking the view that you did not have symptoms or pain. If you have pain or symptoms, you need to get the proper medical treatment. Treating for your pain is not only good for your body, but it's good for your case because you are documenting your injuries.  Moreover, if there is a significant gap in the time between the accident and treatment the insurance company may argue that the treatment is for an injury that happened after the accident.

4.     BLOWING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS:

In Oklahoma, most causes of action against another party must be initiated within a certain time or the claim will be forever barred.  Some exceptions do apply, but in Oklahoma the limitation period “Statute of Limitations” for injury claims is two years.  If a suit must be filed or an attorney is needed then you need to contact that attorney well before the limitation period so that a proper investigation into the claim may be had.

5.     HAVING A BAD ATTITUDE:

You’ve been injured and probably have significant pain and mental suffering.  You are aggravated and upset because you are in this situation and time has been taken away from your normal life.  However, you must know that the attitudes and motivations of the personal injury victim will impact the case value tremendously. If you are sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, not doing anything outside of your case to better your life, and have a sense of self-entitlement, then your case value will go down. If you are motivated to improve your lot in life despite your injuries and are generally likeable, then a jury will more likely be in your corner and your case value will increase.  This also applies to things you post on social media.  Almost every defense attorney in every personal injury, car wreck, and accident case will research and investigation your social media information.  Just think about this: “how will a jury feel and respond to this information when it is presented to them?”