A lot can go wrong in the aftermath of a serious personal injury. Luckily, much of the fate of a claim rests in the victim’s hands. It is often in your power to change the outcome of your insurance claim or PI trial. Avoid these top 10 mistakes to give yourself every advantage possible:
1. Fleeing the Scene
The law requires you to remain on the scene of any incident involving personal injuries, deaths, or property damage of at least $1,000. Leaving the scene without making sure everyone is okay and calling the authorities can result in a hit-and-run or other criminal charge. Always remain on the scene until police tell you it is okay to leave.
2. Admitting Fault
Do not apologize to the other party or admit fault in any way. Leave it to authorities to decide fault. There may be a factor at play that you aren’t aware of, such as the other person’s comparative negligence. Admitting fault can harm your chances of recovery.
3. Deciding Not to Report the Incident
Always involve the police, your employer, insurance companies, and other appropriate parties after a personal injury accident. Failing to report can work against you in a personal injury case. An official report of what happened can serve as excellent evidence during an insurance settlement or personal injury trial.
4. Failing to Gather Information
Accident victims should take it upon themselves to gather as much information about what happened as possible. This might be difficult in the midst of an injury, but it’s the only way to protect important evidence. Keep track of information such as police and medical records, photographs of injuries, and names of eyewitnesses.
5. Delaying Medical Care
Prompt medical attention for injuries is crucial. Never wait to see a doctor after a car accident, workplace incident, slip and fall, dog bite, or other type of injury. Prompt care can result in faster recovery, but it can also help your personal injury case. It can show a judge or jury that your injuries were significant enough to require immediate attention.
6. Ignoring Treatment Plans
Follow your doctor’s recovery instructions to a tee. Do not miss any therapy sessions or dosages of medications. Failing to obey your treatment plan can worsen your injuries and lead to a judge ruling that you are partially at fault for your physical state after an accident.
7. Recording Insurance Statements
Insurance claims adjusters may contact you as soon as the day of an accident involving injuries. They will ask you to record or write your statement. You are not obligated to record anything or sign any documents until you speak to an attorney. You could be hurting your chances of recovery or waiving your right to sue.
8. Accepting Quick Settlement Offers
Insurance claims adjusters may also offer you a quick settlement over the phone. You know much more about your case than the claims adjuster. You are in the power seat and have the ability to refuse quick settlements, which are almost always less than what the case is actually worth. Speak to a lawyer before saying yes to any insurance settlement offers.
9. Posting Sensitive Information Online
Insurance companies may perform an online search for any information you’ve posted on social media accounts that could harm or invalidate your claim. Refrain from posting details about your accident or injuries online. Keep the facts about your case between you and your lawyer.
10. Attempting to Self-Represent
Self-representing can lead to missed filing deadlines, unfulfilled requirements, difficulty proving your case, a lower settlement than you could have received, or a lost case altogether. Protect your rights and maximize compensation by trusting an auto accident attorney after any type of personal injury.