Plaintiff 101: Your rights as an accident victim

Karen Mertes was hit by a drunk driver that was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour. She suffered a traumatic brain injury that affected her job in the military. She also wound up entangled in a four-year-long legal nightmare. She channeled that experience into a book, “Plaintiff 101,” which answers the common question, “I’ve been in an accident – what do I do now?” Among the basic advice:

  • Review your auto insurance declarations page and see what levels of Liability/Uninsured or Under Insured Motorist coverage you carry.
  • Do not make any admissions to the other driver at the scene of the accident and do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve hired a lawyer.
  • After an injury, stay off of all social media.
  • Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed.
  • Litigation is a test of endurance. The most common way insurance companies win is by outlasting their adversaries. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s