Car accidents tend to be traumatic events with consequences that can reach far ahead into your future. Because many people harbor misconceptions about how a personal injury lawsuit might work, they sometimes make assumptions about the likely outcome and decide their case is not worth pursuing.
Experienced attorneys, however, know that accident cases do not always play out according to initial impressions. Figuring out how strong your case is can take some investigation and factual analysis.
1. Failing to get adequate medical attention
If you were lucky enough to leave the accident scene feeling more or less fine, it does not mean you did not sustain an injury. Some types of injuries, such as TBI, can take weeks or months to show up; it can take even longer to get a proper diagnosis and map a course of treatment. A few days after the accident is definitely too soon to decide nothing really happened. Even seemingly small changes in your health can indicate the presence of a serious underlying problem that can potentially affect you more seriously later on.
2. Assuming they cannot recover if they were at fault
People who feel they share the blame for the accident may think the fact that they behaved less than perfectly means they are out of luck when it comes to recovery. In fact, Delaware's modified comparative negligence law allows a plaintiff to recover if he or she bears 50 percent of the fault for the crash or less. The award then undergoes a reduction proportionate to the plaintiff's fault. Thus, if the jury finds you were 5% to blame and that you suffered damages worth $100,000, you will receive $95,000.
3. Accepting a lowball offer
It is common for accident victims to receive an early offer to settle a case. Because, at this stage, you have no way of knowing all the relevant facts, this offer is not likely to be fair to you. It is in your best interest to discuss any settlement offers with your lawyer so you have the information you need to make a sound and beneficial decision.