4 Common Mistakes You May be Making When Dealing With a Personal Injury Claim

Your life can considerably change after an accident. Suddenly, you are confronted with challenges you never imagined you’d have to deal with, such as mental distress, hospital expenses, loss of earnings, and maybe lifelong physical injury. Fortunately, the law protects those who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. Victims of accidents can file personal injury claims to recover damages and hold negligent parties responsible for their actions.

The majority of people who file personal injury lawsuits have never done this before, and it’s easy to make mistakes at any time during what may be a lengthy legal process. Educating yourself and getting the help of a trusted legal expert are both essential.

We have covered the common mistakes people make when making personal injury claims. If you’re in a similar situation, read on below to identify these mistakes before it’s too late.

1. Believing That You Can Manage Without a Lawyer

Insurance lawyers will defend and fight for the insurance company against which you are filing a claim. These professionals are experts who spend years and countless hours researching the specifics of the law and acquiring expertise to best defend their clients. If the insurance company or the party you’re taking to a Claims Court has access to a lawyer, you should think about it too.

Many consumers are hesitant to seek a lawyer for injuries that appear to be minor. For instance, if you are in a car collision and only have a bruised elbow and a few scratches, you may not feel it is essential to hire personal injury lawyers to file a lawsuit. This is your first mistake. Always consult a lawyer unless you’re fully educated on the law.

If the other party’s insurance provider offers to pay your hospital expenses and give you a few dollars extra on top of that, you may think that it’s not worth the trouble of getting legal representation. However, if your injuries are worse than you and your doctor anticipated, and you’ve already accepted a settlement agreement, there is nothing you can do. This is where a personal injury lawyer comes in.

Throughout the process, they can guide you and will assist you in determining the best time to accept a settlement offer.

2. Accepting the Initial Settlement Offer

It’s all too usual for insurance companies to take advantage of a victim’s weakness right after an accident, offering an absurdly low settlement before you’ve had time to consult with a lawyer or analyze the extent of your injuries. Even if the compensation package appears to be pretty substantial, don’t accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance company without first consulting with your lawyer.

Before you settle your claim, you need to know the exact degree of your injuries. You risk losing out on a high-value claim by settling too soon without assessing the situation.

You must be able to recover all your losses after an injury. The initial offer from an insurance company may only be focused on tangible losses like medical expenses and vehicle repair, however, you also need to claim for emotional distress and punitive damages. The amount of compensation you deserve is determined by the circumstances of your case.

Your lawyer can do a proper investigation to arrive at an appropriate figure. Most people don’t know where to look for and how to use facts like health records, proof of the accident, or loss of actual and potential income to figure out incurred costs.

3. Failing to Collect Vital Evidence

So, you have been in an unfortunate incident. After you’ve taken care of yourself, the very first thing you should do is gather evidence. Consider the accident site to be a crime scene. Keep track of evidence that will show what happened and how it happened.

Take pictures and videos if you have a phone or camera on you. Make a detailed list of everything. Speak with key witnesses there, as witnesses are typically hesitant to assist you weeks later—not to mention they’ll be more comfortable talking to you or your lawyer than the police.

If you have been in a car accident, take pictures of the car’s positions if possible. Get your documents sorted. You must prove that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence when pursuing a lawsuit.

If you go to a doctor, write down the doctor’s name, location, and contact details. If you were treated at an emergency care facility or an ambulance service, it is critical to know the address and phone number of the facility. Any witnesses, as well as the at-fault driver, can be contacted by your lawyer.

Your lawyer can collect all necessary records that doctors, emergency rooms, and police departments may have. You may or may not decide to file a claim, but if you haven’t gathered solid evidence, any claim you decide to file afterward will be far more challenging to prove.

4. Hiring an Incompetent Lawyer or Legal Firm

Many people who have been injured in a traffic accident will hire the lawyer recommended by their own insurance company, regardless of whether or not that lawyer is competent. In the United States, there are around 93,000 to 135,000 personal injury lawyers. However, not every lawyer has the skills and knowledge you require.

One of the most typical mistakes is failing to explore possible alternatives.

To begin, find a licensed lawyer who practices in the state where you live. Make sure they’ve been practicing in the area for a long time. Some laws and practices may differ depending on where you live. Inquire about each lawyer’s area of expertise, because finding a personal injury attorney isn’t enough if they don’t have the experience in the injury claim you’re filing.

Take advantage of free consultations to get to know an attorney and determine if they’re a good fit. Consider the following questions:

  • Are they licensed?
  • What is the total number of clients they currently have?
  • What kind of legal help do they provide for free?
  • Do they have experience dealing with similar cases as you?

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of some common mistakes when dealing with a personal injury claim. If You have already committed one of these mistakes, the good news is that you can still find a good attorney, undo your mistakes and get back on track to find justice and financial recovery.

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