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As someone who has represented car accident victims for 20 years, I have seen cases where people will unknowingly do things that can be fatal for a personal injury claim. These are the 5 biggest mistakes that either ruin or significantly reduce the deserved compensation when injured in a car accident.

Speaking to the Other Parties Insurance

After getting into a car accident, it is not unlikely that the other party’s insurance company will contact you after the accident for information. It’s important to be careful about what information you give them. You have three years to file a lawsuit against the company and you are not obligated to speak with them during that time at all. Insurance companies are only going to be looking out for themselves.

Anything you say to them they will try to use against you if possible. They want to justify handing out as little money as possible. This is especially true if you speak to them early on and your injury ends up being worse than it initially seemed. Therefore, the general rule of thumb is to not speak to the insurance company if there is any kind of injury involved. Additionally, if you have hired an attorney, let them speak on your behalf.

Failing to Get Medical Attention Right Away for Injuries

When an accident initially occurs, your body is going to naturally kick into “survival mode” because of the shock of the accident. Your body might initially use adrenaline to subdue any kind of pain or injury. You might initially think that you are ok and any pain you feel really isn’t bad. The problem is the injuries could be much worse than you realize but may take some time for you to notice. Therefore, if you feel any pain after a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Even though you have three years to sue the insurance company if you have a serious injury following a car accident, your case may be adversely affected if you waited to seek medical attention. The insurance company can make the claim that your injuries are not resulting from the car accident. They will try to say that something else after the accident caused your injury.

Failing to Complete the Proper Paperwork for Your Insurance

In the state of New York, you can get your medical bills and lost wages paid for if a car accident, whether or not it is your fault. What you may not know is that if you do not complete a no fault application within 30 days of the accident, the insurance companies do not need to pay for those bills.

The application, known as Form NF-2, can be downloaded from the New York State Department of Financial Services’ website. The first portion of the form asks for basic information, such as your name, address and phone number. You will also describe the events of the accident. Use the police report for reference when describing the accident.

You should provide a complete list of your injuries. You should even document minor injuries, like scrapes or bruises. Then you should record the health care providers that are treating you along with the claim number so that the insurance companies can pay the correct healthcare providers. Additionally, you should record your proof of employment and proof of disability. The time you missed from work will be incorporated as lost wages.

Using Social Media After the Accident

This is extremely important. Insurance companies will be keeping track of all of your social media trying to gather as much information as possible to use against you. Even if you are private or think you have the correct accounts blocked from your social media, there really is nothing stopping them from being able to see anything you post…even if you delete it. It is actually possible for the judge to allow all of your post history (including deleted posts) to be provided if the insurance company requests it.

The most obvious things you need to avoid is talking about the case at all or talking about the financial struggles the accident has caused you. Don’t post pictures of the scene or pictures of your injury. Don’t even talk about how you are feeling regarding your injury; it can be used against you. You even need to be very careful about posting your day to day activities as it will cause the insurance companies to question how the injury has affected you. A simple night out of dinner with your family could potentially encourage insurance companies to undermine your injury. If you post something like this, there could be little the lawyer can do to help you.

Waiting Too Long to Speak to an Attorney

The closer you speak to an attorney after a car accident, the better. And there are many reasons why. You can remember the events clearly. You can record pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident. They will also make sure you will receive good medical treatment and ensure that you have the necessary documents. Right when an accident occurs, the insurance companies are already likely building there own investigation to protect themselves. You need an attorney to warn you of the things an insurance company will use against you.

As you can see, a lot can go wrong if you want to file a personal injury claim. A lot of these things you might not even think about as hurting your case. The initial steps are very important and an experienced lawyer will help you build your case. If you have been injured on Long Island, New York, let us help you secure your compensation.

The Power Of Facebook

Facebook is becoming a stronger and stronger media source, a large outlet for receiving the news. And unfortunately, not all the news that circulates this giant social media and marketing tech giant is true. Facebook’s algorithm is essentially reshaping how the populace views the current state of the country and what’s to come – not purposely, but nonetheless.

Roughly 30% of the entire nation get their news directly from Facebook. And that’s scary, especially given that about 59% of individuals will share an article based solely on its title. That issue can be attributed to what’s called “clickbait”. A clickbait is a title or content that’s strategically and provocatively written to get more shares, likes, and clicks to drive more traffic toward a business’s website or blog. And it’s become dangerous. Especially with Facebook’s algorithm that’s designed to bring users the news they need to know; which, unfortunately, isn’t always true.

The Problem In Facebook’s Powerful Reach

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen the social chaos, the political debates between one another, and the anger swirling ‘round your newsfeed. You’ve also seen numerous articles shared daily regarding the election, global issues, celebrity gossip, etc. that many times spark these angry debates. A lot of these articles are either misinformed or even designed to misinform. News sites are competing to get their content read. They get the reactions they want using clickbait, writing content that surrounds what’s “trending” on social media. And what’s trending right now is anger, as well as significant dispute between people and their opinions on the future of our country. These articles are designed to intrigue us and back our opinions. Psychologically, we feel inclined to share claims that do both.

There are plenty of reasons people share misinformed articles. We lead busy lives. It’s difficult for us to fact-check every article we see on our newsfeed. We believe it’s up to these news sites to be doing the fact-checking. But many of these news sites are simply writing intriguing articles and citing other news sites that are merely citing other news sites. And where do these trails lead? Possibly to news sites that spread false claims for their own agenda. This is how lies are spreading around even quicker than the truth.

The Problem Is A Cycle

News sites see a decline in their Facebook reach. Many turn to bad practices, such as utilizing clickbait or sharing misinformed claims that get a large audience’s attention and expand the news site’s reach in social media. These articles are liked, shared, and commented on because they are intriguing or support belief structures. These misinformed news sites performing bad practices now receive more organic reach because Facebook’s algorithm sees its users engaging more and more with their content. And the cycle continues. The misinformed misinform – so on, so forth.

And from the looks of it, it’s creating a heated division between us. People feel obligated to back up their opinions. And so, they share articles they believe to be fact-checked, but aren’t. This problem has recently become significantly visible because of “election anxiety” and stress over the future of our country. The changes we may be facing are huge and truly attention-grabbing for the entire nation. Some news sites are exploiting this, sharing outdated information or claims that simply aren’t backed, knowing they will get rewarded for doing so. But at what cost? The future of our country, people’s rights, economic change, etc. – these are all topics that should never be lied about. All the mayhem and angry social media debate could very well be a product of this significant problem.

It is now up to us to fact-check what we consider sharing. We may always be divided in opinion. But this division shouldn’t be so strong that it leads to physical or verbal violence. And it’s as if some news sites are fueling a fire just to meet their own agendas. This needs to stop. And Facebook needs to take more responsibility for its role in allowing false information to circulate its platform.

Facebook Admits The Problem And That They Must Do More To Change It

Many have been quick point fingers at Facebook for its role in allowing misinformation to cycle people’s newsfeeds. They’ve been criticized for firing their human editors who once curated its “trending news” section and replacing it with an algorithm which is, as we can see, easy to fool. Since it has become a media source, Facebook should accept the editorial role they have in the content allowed to be broadcasted to its users.

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of product management, responded to a series of questions by TechCrunch about this very problem. In his response, Mosseri claims that they “use various signals based on community feedback to determine which posts are likely to contain inaccurate information, and reduce their distribution.” Mosseri wraps up his statement conceding that despite their efforts thus far, there is much more that needs to be done.

And we should expect more. News sites that misinform should be penalized. Facebook’s algorithm needs work to tackle this problem. And we’re happy that Facebook recognizes this and plans to do more.

We urge everyone who turns to Facebook for news to fact-check news articles. Debate is perfectly natural, until it turns verbally or physically violent, which is what we’ve been witnessing. It is easy to see how misinformation can lead to social upheaval. These misinformed news sites performing bad practices need to be stopped – and it may be up to us to stop them. Keep it simple. Don’t share an article or a claim until you, yourself, have fact-checked it. Lies are circulating Facebook – false claims made by seemingly credible news sites. And these lies are psychologically damaging a majority of people. We hope this ends – sooner rather than later.