An injury claim can leave a harmed person feeling bewildered. It is difficult for a person who has no legal background to know what to do next when it comes to complex legal matters. There are steps you can take to avoid confusion when getting your compensation. This is why you need to get help from an experienced injury lawyer if you want to get compensation for your injuries and treatments. An injury lawyer will guide you through your injury claim and ensure that you avoid pitfalls that could badly impact your case. Here are some other common mistakes you need to avoid:
Not Getting Medical Care
A common mistake many people make is not getting immediate medical assistance after an accident. It is necessary, because your health comes first and because not all injuries may be visibly apparent. In some cases, the damage might be internal. It can take days to manifest itself as a full-blown medical problem that demands legal action.
It is, therefore, crucial that a doctor gives you a complete medical check-up after you experience an accident. Also, a medical check-up is necessary to document your condition. It will ensure that you build a good case and get the right amount of compensation from the person/party that caused your injury.
Not Hiring an Injury Lawyer
Suppose your injury relates to occupational malpractice. In that case, you need to get in touch with a lawyer who specializes in such claims. Similarly, it would be best to approach a lawyer for a motorcycle accident victim if you were hurt while riding a bike. If you’re consulting a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in personal injuries, you’re going to struggle. Hiring the right personal injury lawyer is essential if you want to be compensated. An injury lawyer will know all the steps to take, help you prepare necessary documents, and negotiate the best settlement for you.
Failure to File an Injury Claim
Each state has a statute of limitations for injury cases. If the case is not documented within that time, the court will not hear it. Suppose you have registered with an injury lawyer right after the accident that caused your injury. In that case, they will tell you about your state’s statute of limitations and ensure that you file your injury claim on time.
Taking the First Settlement Offer
Defendants and their insurance companies usually offer the lowest amount possible at first. Be cautious as this can be a warning sign for fraudulent activity. This amount is unlikely to be as high as you are entitled to, so you should consult with your lawyer before accepting it. This is another reason why you should hire a lawyer who is well versed in injury and accident cases. They will know how to negotiate a fair and respectable amount of compensation to cover short and long-term medical treatments and losses.
Posting about the Incident on Social Media
As much as you want people to know about the injustice you’ve faced, oversharing on social media is a terrible idea. The culprit will probably also have a lawyer/legal team that will try to deny or undermine your injury claim. Posting on social media can land you in hot water if the opposing party decides to file for defamation. Therefore, share nothing publicly until the case has been settled.
Not Preserving Substantial Evidence
A personal injury claim can quickly go to waste if you don’t collect evidence. Consider the crime scene as a murder case. Protect any evidence you have. If you have a smartphone with a camera, take photos and videos—document everything. Talk to any witnesses who were there; observers are often reluctant to participate months after the accident. Look at the paperwork. As a plaintiff, you have to prove that someone else’s recklessness caused the accident, which is a legal consideration. While you may not think about filing a lawsuit, the lack of evidence collected can complicate your case.
Settling the Case Too Quickly
Suppose your doctor says that you are likely to make a full recovery within a year, and you reach a settlement before the end of that period. If you continue to feel the side effects of the injury, you may have underestimated what your pain is worth. However, once you close a deal, there is no going back unless you are especially fortunate. Suppose you are underfunded due to your lawyer’s misdirection in your case. In that case, you may be able to file a “no win, no fee” claim to recover your misfortune.
Negotiating Without a Lawyer
You can’t! Often, insurance agencies will try to settle your case directly with you. They will try to villainize your injury lawyer and settle for a lot less. Never fall for such traps. On the contrary, a seasoned lawyer will ensure that you walk away with a sizable compensation, covering your medical bills and other long-term expenses due to the injury.
Not Letting the Doctor Know about All the Symptoms
As we said, some conditions might not be visibly apparent. But it is necessary to inform your doctor of all the problems you are facing after the injury. Withholding information can lead to a poor diagnosis and unhelpful follow-ups. Medical reports are crucial in an injury claim. The report archives information about your injuries and your chances of recovery. If you have some essential information your doctor hasn’t asked about, provide that information yourself. If you do not mention the injury or other symptoms of that injury in the doctor’s report, you are unlikely to be compensated.
Suppose you incur a personal injury and expect to receive rightful compensation. Do not repeat the mistakes mentioned above. While there are many lawyers available, only a few of them may have the abilities, know-how, and expertise to handle your case. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Go through your options, contact a handful of different injury lawyers and query them.
Image Credits: Andrea Piacquadio
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