Successfully filing a personal injury claim is no easy task. There is a lot of paperwork to deal with and often more than one legal option to consider. All of this can lead to quite a bit of confusion during an already difficult time. Learning some of the most common mistakes that personal injury claimants make can help you streamline the process and resolve your claim as quickly as possible. Read on to learn the most common errors that people make and how you can avoid them.
No. 1: Not checking with a healthcare professional immediately
Not seeking medical attention until it is too late can be damaging to your case. It is one of the most common excuses insurance adjusters use to dispute personal injury claims, usually with the argument that the injury is not as serious as you claim because you didn’t get medical help promptly. This can be a convincing argument that can affect the value of your claim and even be used against you during litigation.
More to the point, if you do not seek medical care as soon as symptoms appear, you may lose your right to compensation from your insurer or the at-fault party.
No. 2: Not seeking legal counsel
It’s always advisable to consult a lawyer to avoid losing your case due to simple procedural and paperwork mistakes.
A seasoned attorney is a must-have tool in your pursuit of compensation and justice. Not only do attorneys have a better knowledge of the law, but they are also less likely to be deceived by insurance adjusters. What’s more, a good lawyer will conduct independent investigations, get to the bottom of your case, and help determine an appropriate value for your claim.
No. 3: Not calling the police
According to a Detroit personal injury lawyer, if you are involved in a car accident, you should always make a point of calling the police. The report that the officer writes is important to any personal injury claim because it records crucial information such as the names of the drivers involved, their insurance information, witness information, and the types and number of vehicles involved. Your lawyer will build on this information when crafting your personal injury claim.
No. 4: Admitting fault
In accidents that involve more than one person, victims sometimes make the mistake of admitting fault. Insurance companies love chaos, and they often take advantage of the confusion to get victims to talk on record in the heat of the moment. You don’t want to fall for this, as it could cripple your case and you could end up forfeiting your rights to compensation.
Always remain calm and don’t admit fault, even if you believe you are partially at fault for the accident. Don’t give any recorded statements without first consulting your lawyer.
No. 5: Settling early
If you think insurance companies care for your injuries and losses, think again. The main goal of an insurance representative is to save his or her employer money. If an adjuster approaches you with an early settlement offer, there is a good chance you deserve a lot more than what’s on the table. More to the point, early settlements do not cover injuries that may show up later. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot submit a revised claim even if you suddenly suffer catastrophic complications from your injury. It is a done deal that not even the court can reverse.
No. 6: Overvaluing your claim
The ramifications of undervaluing a claim are obvious: you receive less than you deserve and pay for some of your losses out of pocket. Overvaluing a claim is more complicated. While it won’t prevent you from recovering damages, it will be an indication that you don’t understand the consequences of your injury or the true worth of your claim. To insurance adjusters, this signals that you are more likely to take less than your injury merits because you don’t understand the facts of your case.
Overvaluing a claim can be the result of getting into settlement negotiations too early or filing a claim alone. If it’s a serious injury or a complicated case, hire a personal injury lawyer who will collect the facts before diving into negotiations.
The Bottom Line
You deserve compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered if you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else. Avoiding the mistakes above can help support a case for maximum compensation.