An accident can be physically traumatic, but it can also have a significant emotional and financial effect. If you sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you could seek compensation for your losses. However, specific mistakes in handling your personal injury case or lawsuit may limit your potential compensation. At times, certain errors can cause the insurer to deny your claim or lead a court to dismiss your case. Mistakes that appear insignificant initially can have a substantial effect later.
The following suggestions can help you avoid making common mistakes which can hurt your personal injury claim:
Do not delay or neglect to seek medical attention
Neglecting to see a medical professional is a common mistake made by personal injury victims. Any injury that can affect your life should be treated immediately to allow you to recover as fully and rapidly as possible. You will need evidence if you intend to seek damages for your injuries. An insurance company can challenge your claim if you do not have adequate proof of injury or cannot show any effort made on your part to get examined and treated by a medical practitioner.
Do not fail to collect available information, or identify sources who can offer additional details
If you sustained injuries due to a car accident, try to gather as much proof at the crash site as you can. Take pictures of all vehicles involved from various angles, including license plate numbers, scrapes, dents, and other physical damage. If you can, take photos of the road, including posts, signs, vegetation, and structures obstructing the view of any signs as well as potholes, uneven pavement, skid marks, and ditches.
It is important to get the name, phone number, address, and insurance details of the at-fault motorist and the collision location. If the police are called, they will include these details in their report. Also, get the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses to the accident.
Hire a lawyer in the initial stages of the process
Many people erroneously do not hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as they understand that they have a personal injury claim on hand, i.e., they have suffered significant injuries due to the recklessness of another, for which they deserve compensation. A personal injury lawyer can make sure that all required proof is collected and assessed, negotiate with insurers and lawyers representing the defendant, and create a strong foundation for a favorable outcome in your personal injury lawsuit.
Be mindful of what you sign and whom you talk to
It is important not to speak to anyone but your lawyer about your personal injury lawsuit, besides exchanging information with the other motorist and giving your insurance and license details to police officers. Even if you feel like you may be partially to blame for the crash, do not admit any degree of fault to anyone, at the crash site or later on. Your personal injury lawyer can divulge that information at the right time, if and when required.
Do not provide a statement to an insurer or sign any authorization or release to obtain health records or other details about you without first consulting your lawyer. Also, do not accept any type of settlement offer without initially consulting a lawyer.
Do not accept the initial settlement offer
If you have a robust case, you may receive a settlement offer from the individual liable for your losses, from their lawyer, or most probably from their insurance company. You may also receive an offer from your own insurer if the person responsible for your injuries is an underinsured or uninsured driver.
While you may want to “get things over with,” resist the tendency to accept the first offer that comes your way. The insurance company’s objective is to pay you as little as they can and not fair compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a lawyer who can assess your case’s merits and the potential costs over your lifetime of the injuries that you suffered. You should answer a decisive “no” if the insurance agent pressures you for an immediate response, before giving you time to consult an attorney.
Lastly, avoid discussing your personal injury case on social media.
Entrust your Personal Injury Lawsuit to a Trusted and Reputable Law Firm
At times, personal injury accidents can be minor, with rapid recoveries in mere days or weeks. But such accidents can also be devastating, life-altering events that can have a significant long-term effect on the health and quality of life of the victim. At Stein & Fox Accident Attorneys, we understand how catastrophic it can be when someone you love suffers from serious and permanent injuries.
If you have been in a traumatic accident that left you injured, contact our team to schedule a no-charge consultation. We will assess your claim, address all your concerns, and guide you on the best path forward. Call (770) 961-1700 today for a free initial consultation with a qualified personal injury attorney.