Six Common Mistakes That Could Derail Your Personal Injury Case
November 29, 2019
If you have been injured as the result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, punitive damages and more. Unfortunately, plaintiffs often make mistakes following an injury that end up costing them significant sums. Read about six of the most common mistakes people make after suffering an injury here so that you do not end up sacrificing the justice you deserve.
Mistake #1: Not seeking medical treatment right away. For a variety of reasons, it is more common than you might think for people not to seek medical treatment after sustaining an injury. They might think they are being overdramatic if the injuries are not life-threatening, or they do not want to face the cost of treating the injury. But not getting your injury examined and treated as soon as possible will cost you in the long run. You will have a hard time proving that you sustained an injury from the particular incident that you are claiming. Even if you change your mind and decide to seek treatment 3 or 4 months later, the defendant and her attorney can and will claim that you sustained the injury from a different incident.
Mistake #2: Thinking you can represent yourself. Unless you happen to be a personal injury attorney yourself (in which case you probably wouldn’t be reading this article) you do not know nearly as much about the law as an experienced attorney in the personal injury field. Personal injury victims may not hire attorneys for numerous reasons, from the potentially high cost (most common reason) to being confident in handling the case themselves. There are a lot of complications that can arise from a personal injury case, and if the defendant has counsel and you do not, the case will become nearly impossible to win. Therefore, hire an attorney as soon as you sustain the injury to help guide you through the complicated process. The cost of medical bills and other damages will end up equaling or exceeding the cost of an attorney if you lose the case as a result of trying to go about it yourself.
Mistake #3: Talking about your case with anybody besides your attorney. It is almost inevitable during your case that certain people will contact you and ask for details, such as an insurance company claims adjuster. They will try and persuade you to give a recorded statement about your injuries and the event that caused them. However, this only gives the defense attorney a chance to use your statement as evidence against you. If anybody tries to contact you regarding your case, refer them to your attorney. No good can come out of speaking to them yourself.
Mistake #4: Stay away from social media. Even if you have your social media pages set to “private,” anybody who wants to can get access to your posts and use them as evidence against you. You may be tempted to post your injuries and the details about it in order to warn others if this occurred on public property, but do not give into this temptation. It may end up costing you your case.
Mistake #5: Settling a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. The defendant’s insurance company will probably attempt to offer you a settlement right away in an attempt to protect themselves and their client. Unfortunately, by settling a claim right away, you will most likely come away with less compensation than you deserve. Do not fall for these tactics or attempt to settle anything without the approval of your attorney.
Mistake #6: Not collecting enough evidence. You need to collect every piece of physical evidence available from the time your injury occurred to when the time comes to decide the case. This includes pictures of the injuries you sustained, invoices from all doctor appointments, and empty bottles from prescriptions you needed to recover from your injuries. The court will not grant you damages based on your word only, so it is essential that you collect all evidence from the start. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you collect evidence.