A personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit is often complex and tiring. You must prove fault, establish liability, calculate damages, negotiate a settlement, prepare for trial, and more. Unfortunately, a simple mistake can undermine your case. Here are the five most common mistakes in personal injury cases.
Not Getting Medical Treatment
Sometimes people refuse to seek medical treatment after an accident because they believe they have not suffered any injuries that require medical attention. The lack of medical treatment is dangerous for their health and can also be used by opposing parties to claim that the injuries were not serious enough to need medical attention.
In addition, some injuries can become apparent hours or days after the accident. Receiving medical attention immediately after the accident allows the doctors to diagnose any injuries.
Another important step is to follow all medical advice, including rest and all follow-up sessions recommended by the doctor. Even if you feel fine after receiving treatment, it is essential to follow the recommendation provided by the medical professional. This will allow you to recover and provide a medical record that helps you prove the extent of your injuries in your personal injury case.
Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
In some personal injury cases, insurance companies reach out to the injured party soon after the accident to offer them a settlement and record their statement. Since it could be your first time dealing with the insurance company after the accident, you might reveal information about the accident that can be taken out of context and used against you.
It is best to have your lawyer talk to the insurance company on your behalf. Your lawyer can handle the negotiations with the insurance company, tackle any bad faith tactics they may use to pressure you into accepting their offer, and help you obtain a fair settlement.
Accepting Early Settlement Offers
Insurance companies or lawyers of the opposing parties can try to settle the case early to avoid paying you a higher compensation later. But unfortunately, accepting their first offer can result in an unreasonably low settlement for your damages.
You might be tempted to accept the settlement offer, but it may not account for your pain and suffering and other long-term damages you have to face due to your injuries. If you accept the settlement offer by the insurance company and sign a release form, you can be barred from pursuing claims to obtain additional compensation for your damages.
Failure to Keep a Record of Expenses
Since you took legal action to obtain compensation for your losses, you are responsible for documenting your damages to prove your expenses. You can gather receipts and create written notes of all your expenses related to the injury. This includes medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and other expenses. Failure to keep track of your expenses could weaken your case. In some cases, a lawyer can help you recover receipts or other documentation to prove your expenses.
Not Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Not hiring a personal injury attorney is a major mistake in personal injury cases. Without a thorough understanding of personal injury law, you may struggle to build a solid case while avoiding the pitfalls of dealing with insurance companies and experienced lawyers. With a lawyer’s help, you can avoid unnecessary litigation costs because they can help you expedite the process. A personal injury attorney in Ventura, CA, can handle all aspects of your case, including filing all the correct paperwork, settlement negotiations, gathering evidence, and ensuring you meet the statute of limitations deadlines. Lastly, with an experienced attorney on your side, you can focus on your recovery from the injury.