Top Mistakes Accident Victims Make: No. 2
One of the biggest problems our auto accident lawyers face — especially because many of our personal injury cases are referred to us by other attorneys a year or two after a car crash has occurred — is that accident victims do not take photos of their injuries. Taking photos is critically important. Pictures are objective, credible evidence, and they help to correlate a car accident with the occupant’s trauma; especially when the defense later contests that the collision wasn’t severe enough to cause the claimed injuries. Additionally, taking photos of injuries is compelling. It makes the injuries real, believable and vivid.
Our accident lawyers advise that anytime an accident victim has a surgery or a visible injury, take pictures. Or contact your Michigan no-fault lawyer so he or she can send a professional photographer to document the injuries.
It’s also important to remember to take pictures of car damage. Crash repair estimates are often misleading and don’t reflect the full amount of vehicle damage. As a lawyer helping people in serious automobile accidents, I can say it’s always helpful having pictures of vehicle damage.
Additionally, videos are great tools to illustrate to a jury or an insurance company adjuster just how difficult normal tasks, hobbies and activities can be for someone in the days and weeks following major trauma or surgery, such as bathing, getting dressed or doing laundry. If you have problems carrying out everyday activities, you may likely be entitled to make an attendant care claim. Michigan attendant care benefits are sometimes referred to as nursing services. Be sure to discuss with this your Michigan lawyer.
Why take pictures? According to Michigan law, victims of automobile accidents must show impairment – not pain – by proving “serious impairment of body function.” That means that a person can be in pain every day, but if he or she cannot show how life is different after the accident, it’s unlikely the case will be successful. Pictures help to document impairments.
Everyone knows the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes to getting a jury or an insurance adjuster to understand the hardship a person has been put through because of a car accident or other personal injury, this adage is vitally true. Please take photos and videos of injuries and surgeries whenever possible.
This blog post is part of a series on avoiding mistakes in a lawsuit, to protect clients from insurance company defense lawyers aiming to destroy legitimate cases. There are so many confusing laws that can trap unsuspecting people and wreck havoc on a case. So the best advice remains the simplest: Call your accident attorney if you have a question. The best way to have a successful automobile accident case is through excellent communication with your lawyer. To request a free, no obligation case evaluation, please fill out our consultation form and we will respond to your inquiry within one business day. Or to speak to an attorney immediately, please call (800) 777-0028.
— Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by amanky
Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights.
Steve Gursten received the highest 2008 car accident settlement and verdict in Michigan. He is named one of the Best Lawyers in America and Metro Detroit, a Michigan Super Lawyer and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the American Trial Lawyers Association. Steve is past president of the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group. He currently serves on the board of governors representing Michigan for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America and is a member of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group. He is also a 14-year executive board member for the Michigan Association for Justice and co-chair of the group’s Auto No-Fault Committee. Steve frequently lectures at legal seminars across the country on topics such as trial advocacy, Michigan no-fault law, traumatic brain injury and maximizing settlements for those injured in serious car and truck accidents.