Three Classic Mistakes To Avoid In The Afermath Of A Significant Maryland Car Accident
Clearly, anytime someone sustains any meaningful injury, in any manner, failing to take the appropriate measures to ensure financial recovery and guard their interests can be an all-too often-made mistake. The potential consequences that flow from such failure are magnified in proportion to the gravity of the injury-causing event. In other words, mistakes that are made in circumstances where the stakes are not high might later seem unimportant. However, mistakes that are made where the injury-causing event was a catastrophic one can have life-long consequences. Over the years, I attorney Eric T. Kirk saw three frequent omissions that can have a meaningful impact on a financial recovery due to a significant Maryland accident claim.
- Failure to preserve needed evidence.
- Failure to document the full extent of loss.
- Failure to immediately consult with knowledgeable counsel.
The failure to timely gather to protect and preserve evidence can often have a highly prejudicial, and potentially determinative or dispositive, effect on a claim. For example, where a needed witness is no longer available for trial because the individual was not promptly identified and necessary identifying information contemporaneously obtained. Similarly, the opportunity to take contemporaneous photographs of the nature of the damage to the vehicles, or the relation of the vehicles to one another at the time of the accident disappears soon after the event. It can often take years before an injury case of any type makes it to a courtroom. Due to the nature of the injury sustained in a catastrophic or significant car accident, both the likelihood of litigation is greater, and the length of time from the accident to the trial can reasonably be expected to be greater as well. This is in part due to an extended and protracted period of recuperation anticipated after serious injuries in a catastrophic loss. During this time details get lost, and memories fade. When coping with the consequences of a catastrophic motor vehicle accident, it is vital that elements of the damage claim be properly preserved and catalogued. Time missed from work, receipts for rental expenses, medications, copays and other out-of-pocket expenditures should be assembled. A contemporaneous log of activities impacted, or prevented, by bodily injuries should be kept. These records are typically vital years later, when the events are not as fresh in the mind of the injured person, who is nevertheless called upon during deposition testimony- or trial testimony- to recite the details of their loss in an exacting manner -but cannot.
I have often heard individuals say that they assumed that the insurance company would “take care of all of their losses” and and they didn’t see the need to consult with legal counsel after having been involved in an accident. Frequently I’ve also seen those individuals find they are in fact wrong, and the insurance company did not, and will not fully compensate them for their losses. They must then resort to hiring a lawyer, sometimes months or even years after the fact. What I suggest to anyone involved in a significant serious motor vehicle accident is to promptly consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Note what I’m suggesting here is a consultation with one or more attorneys -not necessarily hiring that attorney. An understanding of one’s legal rights, the legal system generally, and the process and prospects of recovery are often pivotal and vital guidance that is needed while the events are unfolding and not later, at a subsequent time, when it is too late to put that guidance into effect