5 Common Mistakes People Make in Their Personal Injury Claim
The purpose behind a personal injury claim is to receive compensation to cover bills and expenses related to your injury and in some cases, the claim serves as a way to seek justice for a wrong done against you. However, you may be potentially damaging your case with one or more of these common mistakes. Read and follow our guide to optimize your case results.
- Lying to your attorney, doctor, or the insurance company
Lying about your injuries or how you got your injuries can not only dismantle your personal injury claim but could also lead to charges of insurance fraud. Be honest and forthcoming with what happened and how you became injured but do not admit that you are at fault. There may be more to the story than you realize.
- Not seeking prompt medical treatment
You may not have had life threatening injuries at the time of the accident and not needed to have been rush to the emergency room, but that doesn’t mean that your injuries are not important or shouldn’t be checked out. Sometimes it takes a few days for the injuries to make themselves known. You only have two weeks to seek medical attention for your injuries before insurance companies will deny your claim for coverage outright. So, be sure to see a doctor as soon after your accident as possible.
- Signing a document without having your attorney review it
Insurance companies are NOT on your side, no matter how nice they may seem or how honest their efforts may seem to “help” you. The insurance adjuster you are speaking to has been well trained in their job, which is to prevent the insurance company from losing too much money. Do not sign any documents without first checking with your attorney. Do not accept any settlement money from the insurance company without first checking with your attorney. The money that is first offered may not actually cover the cost of all of your medical care and once accepted you cannot go back and sue for more.
- Posting on Social Media
Even if you have been on the mend for a while now, avoid posting anything on social media or letting someone else post about you on social media, including pictures and videos. The defendant can try to use this to down play your injuries and the side effect the accident has had on your life.
- Skipping medical appointments or failing to follow medical advice
Missing an appointment or not properly following the medical directives given to you can reflect poorly on your concern for your well-being during the course of your claim. The other side will do what they can to make you look bad and seem less injured than you really are. Go to every doctor’s appointment and follow the instructions of your doctor thoroughly.
- Talking about your case
Discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney can do irreparable harm to your case. Do not reveal the details of the case to family or friends and you should especially refrain from talking to the insurance adjustor or opposing counsel without your attorney present. Discussing your case could reveal important information about your strategy or case details.
- Failing to disclose previous injuries
You should let your attorney know if you have been in any other accidents or have any other injuries, especially in the same location as your current injuries. The opposing side will use your previous medical history as a way to mislead the jury and blame old injuries for your current pain and suffering. Letting your attorney know in advance will help them to prepare a defense if it is brought up during settlement talks or at trial.
- Waiting too long to file a personal injury claim
You may have four years to file a claim, but you should begin the process as soon as possible. Insurance companies or other responsible party may attempt to drag out the process with offers of a settlement until the statute of limitations has expired. Turning straight to legal forms of action will prevent unnecessary delays.
- Not seeking legal advice in a timely manner
Insurance companies and opposing counsel will try to take advantage of the fact that you are without legal counsel. They may try to get you to sign release forms or waivers or even take an undervalued settlement.
- Failing to secure a Permanent Impairment Rating
Injuries from an accident can have a long last effect on your body and some pain may never fade away. A documented rating of your long-lasting injuries will do nothing but to assist in your case and help to prove the effect the accident has had and will have on your life.