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Suing After Discovering Hidden Injuries Following an Accident

Victims of car accidents are often surprised to discover significant injuries well after the accident. In the rush to treat immediately obvious problems like cuts or broken bones, less obvious wounds can go undetected. Being injured isn’t normal, so people who are hurt often don’t realize that the symptoms they are experiencing are caused by something they don’t expect. Doctors may not have the right tools to discover “hidden” injuries, or they may not detect signs that ordinarily would justify further testing. A personal injury lawsuit following an accident aims to get the injured plaintiff compensation for the damages resulting from his or her injuries. Damages can include medical costs, lost wages, and the cash value of personal consequences like pain. Ideally the plaintiff’s initial lawsuit claims the full scope of damages associated with the accident. But what if the lawsuit is already pending, or has already settled, when the plaintiff discovers a new injury? While the litigation is ongoing a plaintiff may amend his or her complaint to add new claims that are relevant to the case. Adding claims may delay resolution of the case, as evidence related to the new injury gets exchanged. But at this point the door is still open to recover full compensation from the person who is at fault. If the litigation has already ended, getting compensation for the newly discovered injuries can be more difficult. Most personal injury cases settle. As part of a settlement agreement plaintiffs typically are asked to sign releases that prevent them from pursuing further litigation for claims arising out of the accident. Under normal circumstances, such waivers prevent the plaintiff from “reopening” a case against the original defendant or his or her insurance company. Even if a release was signed as part of a settlement the plaintiff may have options. In rare cases the plaintiff might get a court to throw out the settlement, if the defendant committed fraud or didn’t negotiate in good faith. The plaintiff may also have the option of suing other defendants. A doctor who failed to diagnose a significant injury may be liable for professional negligence. Perhaps the injury was caused by a defective product. Or perhaps the original lawsuit left out potentially liable parties that could be sued. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury cases. Reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your case. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.

Avoiding Social Media Mistakes After an Accident

Avoiding Social Media Mistakes After an Accident
People who are accustomed to using social media are often quick to share interesting experiences online. After an accident it can be tempting to tell friends about what happened, perhaps with pictures of smashed cars and other people who were involved. But social media posts can come back to haunt someone who ends up in litigation over an accident. Before rushing to Facebook or Twitter after an accident, there are some things to keep in mind.

Social media content can be evidence

Perhaps the most serious issue posed by social media in the context of a serious accident is that its content can be used as evidence in a trial or arbitration. An adverse party can request social media records as part of discovery, the fact-gathering phase of litigation. Here are a few ways this can matter:
  • Content can be used to prove fault. Statements that could show fault will almost certainly become central pieces of evidence in a case. For example, a driver could post an admission that he or she was distracted (“Shouldn’t have been playing Pokemon and driving!”). A driver could also post an admission of having been under the influence of drugs or alcohol (“I shouldn’t have smoked that joint before driving! LOL!”). It will be difficult to overcome such damaging statements in court.
  • Content can contradict oral testimony. Because social media posts are written, they can have an outsized importance when determining the truth of a statement. That is especially true when they are made shortly after the accident. Counteracting them with later testimony that tries to paint them as inaccurate or untrue can be difficult. “I was only kidding,” is a poor argument. Photos can be especially persuasive if they don’t line up with claims about the severity of an injury or other details.
  • Content can prove the extent of an injury. Someone who claims to be bed-ridden with a serious injury but who posts photos of themselves dancing will almost certainly struggle to convince a court that the injuries are serious.

Social media can damage important relationships and your image

Social media can have other consequences beyond establishing the facts of a case.
  • Waiving attorney-client privilege. Posts on social media can be considered public statements that are outside of the protected, confidential attorney-client relationship. Posting information about an attorney’s legal advice can waive the confidentiality of such advice, potentially making it part of court arguments when it otherwise wouldn’t be.
  • Creating an impression of bad faith. If a driver’s insurance company believes that the driver is not being truthful about the details of an accident the insurer may deny coverage.
  • Offending the fact-finders. Even if social media posts don’t raise specific legal concerns, they can make a person look bad. Posting crude or offensive remarks about the other people involved in the accident can make a judge or jury less sympathetic. Posting photos of someone who has been injured, especially children, is often seen as cruel, invasive, and inappropriate.

GGRM helps people injured in accidents in Las Vegas recover compensation

The best approach to handling social media after an accident is to simply stay off of it. At a minimum, talk to your accident attorney about what is and isn’t appropriate before making statements that could come back to haunt you. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area for more than 45 years. If you have been injured in an accident we are happy to review your case and discuss your legal options with you. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.