If you have filed a personal injury claim after being in an accident, you might think that all you have to do now is show some pictures of the accident site as well as a few medical records. It is more complicated than that. The time between your filing the claim and the actual resolution in court is dangerous and can blow your case out of the water because of your actions. Here are three ways you can mess up your claim -- do not do these if you want a chance of winning your case.
Not Trying to Get Better
Personal injuries are never fun. They are never good. But you're still expected to try to live your life and actually recover as much as possible from the accident. That means you must not only get medical treatment in a timely manner, but you must also show that you are following protocols to recover. For example, if your doctor tells you to go to a physical therapist for back exercises to help with pain after an accident, you must go. If you don't, and if you make no real effort to heal the pain per your doctor's recommendations, your case will look weak. It will look like you decided you didn't really need treatment, and that will make it look like you really weren't injured after all.
If you disagree with your doctor's recommendations -- say, she wants you to get back surgery instead of going to physical therapy, and you feel unsure of this -- get a second opinion. Do not simply ignore your doctor and stop seeking treatment.
You must also show that you're trying to adjust your life so that you can still do as many of your normal activities as possible. If you're still able to walk without pain, for example, renting a mobility scooter without your doctor's approval may seem inappropriate, and it may make your case look messier than it is because now your claims won't match up with your doctor's diagnosis.
Playing the Victim
On a related note, playing the victim after filing a claim is not going to get you anywhere. While legal terminology often refers to an injured party as a victim, this does not give you license to harass the other party, lie in bed all day without trying to get better, or embellish your injury, such as in the case of renting a scooter when you can still move easily without pain. It will make you look like you're exaggerating your supposed injury, and any harassment of the other party will make your case look malicious rather than necessary.
Letting Everyone Know How You're Doing on Social Media
Stay off social media until your lawyer says it's OK to go back on. The other party's lawyer is going to look for anything to make you look bad, and a simple post about what a nice day it is could be enough for the lawyer to claim you're not really suffering. That may seem far-fetched, but this is not something where you want to take a chance. If you have to be on social media for your job or because of a monetized blog that you must update, for example, talk to your lawyer about acceptable posts before you make any.
If you're about to do something that you're not sure will affect your case, don't do it until you've cleared it with your lawyer, like those at Stillman & Stillman P.C. It may seem frustrating at first, but you'll have a better chance of success in the courtroom if you're careful with your actions.