The weeks following a serious accident can take a severe mental and physical toll while possibly exploring pre-suit settlement. If you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, the complex litigation procedures eventually only add to the feelings of overwhelm, anger, and confusion – especially if you have never gone through the process before. While these feelings are valid and very common, they, unfortunately, lead to many people making small mistakes that can have a big outcome on their personal injury case.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes personal injury victims make that could harm their chances of receiving fair compensation for the injuries and losses they suffered. Understanding and avoiding these common mistakes can increase your chances of a successful outcome and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Delaying Seeking Medical Treatment
After any accident, whether it be hurting yourself on someone else’s property, being injured due to a faulty product, or being involved in a car accident, prompt medical attention is essential. Even if you believe your injuries are relatively minor, some injuries take hours or even days to present themselves but can still be life-threatening.
Any injury that may affect your life should be treated immediately so that you can recover as quickly and completely as possible. Moreover, if you intend to be compensated for your injuries, you will need evidence of the injury and any efforts you made to get your injuries treated.
Medical examinations and testing from a licensed doctor can assist with documenting any injuries and trauma that resulted from the accident. Without the documentation to prove that the accident caused your injuries or that you were seen by a doctor, your insurance company may challenge your claim, and it will be difficult to prove the value and validity of your personal injury case.
For example, you should not miss follow-up appointments either. Missing your doctor’s appointments could give opposing legal teams and your insurance company the impression that you are not taking your recovery seriously, leading them to conclude that your injury is not as severe as you claimed. The same goes for ignoring professional medical advice relative to your recovery.
Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident and to tell your physician about all your symptoms, no matter how small. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and share any information that you feel is relevant to your injury.
Failing To Gather Enough Details
One of the most common reasons personal injury cases fail is due to insufficient evidence or information. For example, due to the fear, confusion, and disorientation that many people feel following a car accident, they tend to forget to collect or record crucial information. As a car accident victim, you need to ensure that you collect sufficient information at the accident scene for both your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.
Be sure to take pictures of any vehicles involved from every angle, including the license plates and all physical damage from the accident. Take pictures of the road and surrounding area, including signs, vegetation, any obstructions, potholes, road conditions, barriers, and skid marks – no detail is too small. We all live in a digital age where your cell phone may have multiple cameras built in to not only take photos, but also to take video clips without excuses.
No matter what type of accident, getting information from witnesses and everyone involved is essential. Take down their names, contact information, insurance information, as well as any details you remember about the accident. If another person is involved in the accident, be sure to note what they say but do not make any statements yourself other than to the relevant authorities – never admit fault.
Not Hiring A Lawyer Early Enough
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as you realize you may have a personal injury lawsuit on your hands. Not only will an experienced personal injury attorney be able to gather all the necessary information and negotiate with your insurance company and opposing legal counsel, but they will also help you establish a solid foundation upon which to build a successful lawsuit if the responsible party refuses to pay. Without this foundation, claims for even the most justly deserved compensation can fail.
Not Contacting Authorities
It’s crucial to call the police to the scene of any accident, whether it’s a car accident or something else. A police investigation can assist in locating crucial witnesses, provide supporting documentation, and even help determine the accident’s underlying cause. While typically inadmissible at trial, police reports are invaluable resources that can be used to capture crucial information about the accident to help assess what happened and can be used pre-suit during settlement discussions. In litigation, that same traffic crash report can be used by the investigating officer on the stand to refresh their recollection of what happened.
At Sokoloff & Weinstein, P.A., we aim to provide all our legal services with a level of personal attention to ensure our clients feel as comfortable and informed as possible throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation due to you, contact us today.