When you’re in an auto accident in Houston, TX, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions of the moment. You may even forget some of the things you should never do during an auto accident case. Hiring an auto accident attorney is arguably the most important decision you can make after being in a car accident because these mistakes can cost you in your case. Read on to see what they are and how to avoid them.
10 Things You Should Never Do During an Auto Accident Case
1. Admit Fault
If someone asks you if you were at fault in an accident by email or letter, don’t admit anything or sign any documents that could be used against you later on down the road. If someone wants a written statement from you about what happened in an accident, ask for their name and contact information so that you can get legal advice from a lawyer before making any admissions or signing anything.
2. Post Information About Your Accident Online
Posting on social media is not a good idea after you’ve been in an accident. If you decide to post information about your accident, you could be putting yourself and your case at risk.
Social media posts are often discoverable by the other side in a lawsuit. This means that if the other party can prove that you posted information about your case on social media, then any comments you made about the facts or circumstances of your case may be admissible in court as evidence against your interests.
3. Assume That Everything Is Fine if You Have No Visible Injuries
Don’t assume that everything is fine if you have no visible injuries from the accident. While some injuries are apparent, many people suffer from “whiplash” or other types of neck pain that aren’t always readily apparent immediately after an accident occurs. These types of injuries can take days or weeks to develop and should be treated as soon as possible so they don’t become chronic problems later on down the road.
4. Assume That Everything Is Okay Just Because There Was No Property Damage
Property damage isn’t always present in auto accidents — especially minor ones — but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any long-term effects from having been involved in one at all! You should still consult with an attorney even if nothing appears.
5. Forget to Keep Copies of Important Documents
If you ever get into a car accident, it’s important that you keep copies of all your important documents are together in a place that is easily accessible — like a file folder or binder — so that they’re easy to find when needed.
Documents you should keep in this file include things such as emails, texts, and voicemails; medical bills and records; police reports and witness statements; and insurance policies. The more information you have on hand and readily available, the better off you will be when it comes to handling your claim.
6. Try to Prove Liability on Your Own
While it would be convenient to be able to prove liability on your own, you simply do not have the resources or expertise necessary to do this effectively. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you find and gather evidence to support your case while also providing guidance on how best to present your case in court.
You may not even realize what evidence you need—or even how much time and energy researching and collecting it should take up—until after you’ve started filing motions in court yourself!
7. Sign Anything Without Talking to an Auto Accident Attorney First
Don’t sign anything without talking to an auto accident attorney first. Insurance companies will often try to pressure you into signing off on something before you’ve had time to consider the consequences.
When it comes to your vehicle and your health, it’s important to seek legal advice before signing anything. Why? Because signing a document like a liability release or property damage waiver may hurt your chances of getting compensation for your damages and injuries. And if you don’t know what you’re signing, how can you make an informed decision about whether it’s in your best interests?
8. Accept a Quick Settlement Offer
This is among the most important things you should never do during an auto accident case because it can result in you getting less than what your case is worth. While it may seem like a quick settlement offer and some money right now would be better than nothing, it could be a mistake that costs you more in the long run.
While everyone wants to get their life back together as quickly as possible after an accident, you need to ensure that any settlement amount will cover all of your medical expenses and other damages before agreeing to any offer. Asking for more money may seem like asking too much, but if this happens again because of permanent injuries or ongoing pain issues caused by the accident, having more money available will benefit you immensely down the road.
9. Fail to Meet Deadlines
Never fail to meet deadlines after you’ve been in an auto accident. Even if you’re sick or injured or going through a bad breakup, your case will not be put on hold. Deadlines are imposed by the court system and are not flexible. They are not negotiable, and they are not optional, meaning they’re imposed by law to ensure that timelines are met as much as possible.
If you miss a deadline—and yes, even if it’s just one day late—your case could be dismissed without prejudice (meaning that it could be refiled) or with prejudice (meaning that it can never be refiled). If there’s no way around missing a deadline and you must request an extension from the court before the next hearing date arrives, do so immediately after discovering that there was some sort of unexpected delay.
10. Opt Not to Hire a Houston, TX Attorney
While you may be tempted to handle your accident claim on your own, it’s best to hire an attorney. Your car accident case is a complex legal matter, and if you want to ensure that all of your rights are protected, then hiring an attorney is the best choice. In addition to being highly educated in all areas of law, personal injury lawyers also know how insurance companies operate and what tactics they use to minimize payouts for their clients.
These professionals know how insurance companies work so well because many personal injury attorneys have worked for them during their careers! Because these professionals have first-hand knowledge about how these businesses operate, they can help injured victims like yourself fight back against large corporations with deep pockets.
If you’ve been in an auto accident in Houston, TX, you may be wondering what steps to take next. It’s a confusing process, and unfortunately, the law doesn’t always make it easy to figure out how to proceed. Call Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, today for assistance navigating the legal system. The biggest mistake you can make during an auto accident case is assuming that you’ve already won. Let us help you get the best possible outcome.