Avoiding Personal Injury Case Mistakes
Being the victim of a Personal Injury Accident can be a very trying and confusing time.
On top of dealing with physical and emotional trauma, victims also have to deal with the legal and
financial issues stemming from their accident.
When you are involved in a Personal Injury Accident, the result will often be a lawsuit. Although you may think that you can handle it on your own, filing a claim is the only way to make sure that your legal rights are protected, and you are fully compensated.
To make sure that you handle your case correctly and protect your legal rights, it is important that you avoid these 5 mistakes.
1. Failing to Contact Police and Get a Police Report
When you are in an accident, the first thing that you should do is contact the police. The 911 operator will ask if an ambulance is required and send a responding officer to the scene.
This is important because the police will gather evidence from the scene of the accident, as well as provide medical support if it is needed. They will also collect all parties information so that there is a record.
Calling the police after an accident is also important to your case because depending on the type of accident, the officers may issue a ticket.
For example, if you are in a car accident, and the other driver has been issued a citation it proves that they were at fault and strengthens your personal injury claim.
All of the material gathered by the police is put into a police report which is a centerpiece of any personal injury case. Having this piece of evidence is crucial to proving fault and winning your personal injury case.
2. Waiting to Seek Medical Attention or Not Following Through With Treatment
After you have been in an accident, your main concern should be your health. Getting proper medical attention as soon as possible after your accident can help to make sure that you are okay and protect your legal rights.
In Personal Injury cases, victims have the right to compensation for their medical treatment, as well as pain and suffering that resulted from them.
Getting medical treatment after your accident ensures that you are properly diagnosed and receive the medical care that you need.
It is also valuable to your case because it provides proof of the extent of your injuries, as well as the cost of treatment that you received.
Getting the initial medical attention after your accident is only the first step in protecting your legal rights. It is also important that you follow the treatment plan that your doctors gave to you.
If you do not follow your physician's treatment plan, the insurance company that you choose to sue can use it against you and decrease your settlement offer.
3. Speaking to the Insurance Companies
After a Personal Injury Accident, you will most likely be contacted by your insurance company as well as the other parties insurance. It is crucial that you are very careful about what you say when they contact you.
"The insurance company's main concern is their own, not yours."
Their job is to investigate the case and award the victim the least amount of money possible. To do this, they will use whatever means necessary, which is why you need to be careful what you say to them,
Usually, they will start by asking for a recorded statement from the victim. Whatever you say to them can and will be used to weaken your case.
Besides getting a statement from you, insurance adjusters will also try and get you to sign documents that can hurt your settlement.
They will make an evaluation and offer based on their best interests, and if you sign it, there is not much else that can be done.
Signing documents or giving a statement can negatively impact your settlement because the main concern of insurance companies is to look out for their own best interest. That is why it is important to speak with an attorney before you speak to the insurance company.
4. Not Seeking out a Personal Injury Attorney
Speaking with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident is the best way to avoid possible mistakes in your case and make sure you receive a settlement offer that is fair to you.
Personal Injury Attorneys understand the legal process and can provide advice on what and what not to do. They also know how insurance companies work and what tricks they use to try and get victims to accept smaller settlement offers.
Unfortunately, many of the victims of personal injury accidents do not seek out legal advice because they think they can not afford it. However, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay them nothing unless you win your case.
5. Failing to Maintain all Records
The last big mistake that people make when they are involved in a personal injury accident is that they fail to gather and maintain all records pertaining to their case.
It is important that throughout your case you keep a copy of the police report, any evidence that you may have gathered on your own, receipts for all costs that you have incurred, and medical treatment records.
All of these documents are valuable when it comes to proving your case and getting the settlement amount that you deserve.
Although your doctors and personal injury attorney will also keep records, it is still important that you do as well throughout your lawsuit.
Going through the trauma of a personal injury accident is something that no one wants to experience.
However, if you end up being the victim of an accident, it is important that you understand what you need to do in order to protect your legal rights.
By avoiding the 5 mistakes listed above, you can ensure that you have a strong case that will lead to a settlement that is in your favor, rather than the insurance company.
If you have been in a personal injury accident and would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney for a free case consultation in Georgia or Tennessee, do not hesitate to click on the link below.