Posts made in March, 2015

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do After A Car Accident In Order To Keep Your Personal Injury Case Strong

Car accidents can be quite horrifying. The first thing to do in any car accident situation is to make sure that everyone involved is safe and sound, and then call the proper authorities. If anyone is in need of medical attention, make sure that an ambulance is on its way as soon as possible. Although legal troubles are something no one wants to worry about, the next thing on your mind should be the legality of the situation. For your convenience and knowledge, here are five things that you shouldn’t do after being involved in a car accident in order to keep a potential personal injury case strong.

Don’t Delay A Hospital Visit

Regardless of whether or not you believe that you have suffered from an injury due to a car accident, you should receive medical attention as soon as possible. This is not only for your own health, but there is a good legal reason for doing so, as well. If it so happens that you are required to go to court for a personal injury case, it is important that you have official medical documents detailing the extent of the damage that your body incurred. This is especially important if you are the plaintiff and you wish to detail what specific injuries happened to you during your crash in order to receiver reparations.

Don’t Post Any Information On Social Media

This is relatively new advice in the world of personal injury cases: do not, under any circumstances, post information about your accident on any form of social media. Due to most social media sites being public forums, anything that you say on such a medium can be held against you in a court of law. Words can easily be misconstrued, especially in writing, and particularly on an online forum. People, often in a state of shock, say things that can come back to bite them, and by doing so on a social media forum, you are making those statements very public.

Don’t Give The Claims Adjuster A Recorded Statement

Most people think that it is their responsibility to give a claims adjuster a recorded statement right after being involved in an automobile accident. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you could be in shock and state things incorrectly or recount events that simply did not occur, it is best to speak to a claims adjuster after you visit a hospital and adequately recount your story and corroborate it with those who were also involved in the accident.

Don’t Apologize

Although it may seem as a polite gesture, or a gesture committed in good faith, do not, under any circumstances, apologize to the other party involved in a car accident. An apology alone can act as a sort of admission of guilt; in other words, you can be held liable for any damages that the other party received in the accident.

Don’t Take The First Settlement Offer Received

If the other person offers to settle with you out of court, you should definitely hire an auto accident attorney. You can never be sure if the other party’s amount will cover any damages to your vehicle that your insurance will not cover, as well as any medical bills you may incur due to their negligence.

As you can see, there is plenty that you can do to avoid any legal trouble after being involved in a car accident. Being held liable for such an accident can be a major financial and personal setback. Although your safety and health should be your primary concern after being involved in such an accident, you should immediately take into account the legality of the situation. Hopefully, armed with this knowledge, you will not put yourself in a position where your own words can be used against you in order to hold you liable.

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What To Do Next: 3 Possible Options Upon Receiving A Class Action Notice

There were 688 approved class action settlements involving nearly $33 billion in compensation being paid out from 2006 to 2007.  When a large group of masses is involved, most individuals generally band together to file a class action lawsuit with a single law firm representing them to reduce legal expenses, and to minimize the amount of involvement required for each individual. When a class action lawsuit is filed, a notice is typically sent to all individuals who fit the description. At which point, there are 3 possible routes that can be taken.

Opting Out of the Class Action Lawsuit Entirely

When a class action lawsuit is filed, various notices will be sent throughout the duration of the case. The first notice provides information regarding the lawsuit, and will also include a definitive date where you can either opt in or opt out. Generally speaking, if you do not respond to the notice, you will be automatically included — at which point, you will have forfeited your right to pursue compensation in a personal litigation case in the future regardless of the outcome of the class action lawsuit.

If you had no intention of filing a lawsuit prior to receiving the class action notice, you really will not be losing out by not participating in the class action; however, if you have already considered filing a class action lawsuit, you may want to speak with your personal injury attorney to determine whether opting out and pursuing a private lawsuit is more beneficial. Common reasons why most people opt out include:

  • Having no confidence in the attorney who has been chosen to represent the case.
  • Having different circumstances from others who have filed the class action lawsuit.
  • Being subjected to severe damages or injuries that require more compensation that is being asked.

Keep in mind that statistics show that approximately 14% of all class action cases were still pending in litigation after 4 years of being filed, and only 33% of resolved cases were settled on a class basis.

Participating in the Class Action Lawsuit as a Class Member

As mentioned previously, if you really had no intention of filing a lawsuit prior to receiving the notice, then you really won’t be losing out by opting out. In fact, you may even gain compensation from the lawsuit. You can opt in as a class member, which basically means that you really do not need to participate or be involved throughout the entire case.

If, and when, the case is settled, you will receive a notice of settlement, which will provide you with the details regarding the terms of the settlement that have been reached, and how you can collect your portion of the recovery.

Participating in the Class Action Lawsuit as a Named Member

If you would like to participate in the class action lawsuit, but have a lot more to lose, then you may want to hire your own attorney from a firm like Daniels Long & Pinsel to represent you, and opt in as a named plaintiff. By opting in as a named plaintiff, you take on a more involved role in the lawsuit. In addition, a judge will review your unique circumstances to determine whether the amount of compensation that you are seeking is a justified amount. 

Conclusion

If you are still on the fence, then you need to scrutinize the class action notice carefully and pay particular attention to all of the dates that have been listed, as you could potentially lose your right to make a choice if you do not take any action before the dates that have been outlined. It is crucial that you receive professional advice from your own attorney, and weigh out the pros and cons of all 3 routes to determine what may suit your situation better.

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