Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Auto-Accident Case
Most people who have been in an accident really don't know what to do first. Lawyer ads scream “hire us now” while insurance claims adjusters call asking you to “just sign a few forms.”
In any Virginia car accident case there are some things you can do to really destroy your own case.
Here are the Five Deadly Sins that can wreck your personal injury claim. These sins are based real life cases.
1. Giving a Recorded Statement To the Adjuster Immediately After the Accident
When you are in an accident, you will often be asked by an insurance adjuster to give a recorded statement. While you are required to cooperate with your own insurance company, you are not required to give a statement to the insurance adjuster of the person who hit you. There is no rush and your statement may be used against you later. You may want to seek legal advice before giving the statement.
2. Hiding Past Accidents From Your Lawyer
Once you begin a case, the other side will be interested in knowing how many past accidents you have been in. The reality is that they probably already know the answer or have easy access to that information. All insurance companies subscribe to insurance databases and often the only reason they ask you this question is to test your credibility. Be honest with your lawyer. Don't hide anything.
3. Hiding Other Injuries From Your Lawyer
It goes without saying that you should be upfront and honest with your attorney about any injuries that occurred before or after your accident. Again, if you saw a doctor or other healthcare provider, then there is a record in existence that the insurance company will find. Your lawyer can deal with this if he knows about it. If you lie about it, and the insurance company finds out, then your case is doomed.
4. Not Having Accurate Tax Returns
In almost every case, a claimant will have lost income because of the accident. You will only be able to claim that lost income if your past tax returns are pristine. Filing accurate and honest tax returns is always the right thing to do. Claiming lost income from an accident without a proper history of filing accurate returns can be fatal to your claim.
5. Misrepresenting Your Activity Level
Insurance companies routinely hire private investigators to conduct videotape surveillance. If you claim that you cannot run, climb or stoop, and you get caught on videotape, you can forget about your claim. There is no explanation (other than “you got my brother, not me”) that can overcome the eye of the camera.
Before you talk to that claims adjuster, its usually a good idea to at least meet with an experienced, board certified, personal injury attorney in your area.
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