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.

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