1. Preserve All Evidence.
In the event of any type of accident, it is important to save any and all evidence that could help prove what happened. If you suffered a slip and fall caused by grease on the floor, for example, be sure to hold onto the clothes you were wearing at the time of the incident. In all likelihood, they will help our team prove the existence of the grease. If you were involved in a car accident, save all the parts and pieces of broken or damaged personal items and the vehicle. Also, don’t sell a vehicle that was towed to your property following a wreck because the insurance company will need to evaluate it. In the event you must replace an item, keep your receipt so that you can be reimbursed by the insurance company.
2. Avoid Social Media.
Following any type of major incident, it is tempting to vent or share your experience via social media. This is not advised. Not only do you run the risk of making an incorrect admission regarding the incident, the comments made by your friends may inadvertently create the appearance of culpability. Remember, defense attorneys will absolutely review your social media accounts and take screenshots of any evidence they think may damage your case. Nowadays, this is common practice among attorneys; in fact, our team runs similar social media investigations against our opponents. The truth is, social media is a great place to begin an investigation when you are building a case against someone you believe was negligent.
3. Avoid “official” phone calls.
Following your incident, you may receive phone calls, texts, emails, or other communications from people including claims adjusters, attorneys, or so-called accident investigators. If you are contacted by someone like this, refer them to our office before talking to them about your incident. If you have not yet signed a contract with our firm, you may wish to do so before engaging in these types of communications. And remember, no matter what happens, do not agree to any form of recorded statement.
4. Understand who you can speak to privately.
Generally speaking, any conversation you have about your accident could be discovered and explored by your opponent. There are some important exceptions to that rule and they have to do with “privileged conversations.” These include conversations you’ve had with your attorney, your doctor, your therapist, or your legal spouse. Those conversations are privileged. They can, however, ask about conversations with your best friend, your brother, etc. So, if there are details about your incident that you wish to keep to yourself, choose your confidants wisely.
5. Stop apologizing.
For many people, it is human nature to apologize to the people around them any time something bad happens. This is especially true after an extreme situation, such as a car accident. People will apologize even though they haven’t done anything wrong. The problem is witnesses to the accident will overhear you apologizing and may improperly perceive that as an admission of fault. So, while it is ok to check on others and make sure the scene is secure, resist the urge to start saying “I’m sorry.”
In the aftermath of an accident, it can be difficult to keep your composure and think clearly. But following these basic steps will help us be in a better position to fight on your behalf and help make sure you get the justice you deserve.