Whether it is for a car accident, workplace injury, or slip and fall in a public place, personal injury claims are one of the most common types of legal conflicts you may have to engage in. If it is your first time filing a personal injury claim, there are a few pitfalls you could run into that could significantly reduce the amount of compensation you receive. Here are four mistakes you must avoid for a successful personal injury claim.
Not Making Enough Documentation
With the stress and emotional turmoil that comes after many injuries, it is easy to forget the exact details of what happened during your accident. You should make it a point to record everything you can remember as soon as possible after the accident while it is fresh in your mind. The more details you have, the easier it will be for your personal injury lawyer to prove that you were not at fault and that you deserve compensation.
In addition to documenting details of the accident, you should have records of every conversation with insurance companies, as well as every doctor visit and medication you are prescribed. Document your injuries with photos, and keep exact records of your lost income. This will help you show that you experienced significant physical and financial suffering as a result of the accident.
Declining to See a Doctor
Seeing a doctor should be the first thing you do after an injury, even before calling a lawyer. Declining medical treatment after an injury is one of the worst things you can do after an accident if you intend to make a personal injury claim. The defense will use this against you by claiming that your injuries must not have been severe enough to warrant significant compensation.
You must also be sure to cooperate fully with the doctors and physical therapists that you see. Work with your doctors by explaining the accident in detail, as well as any pain you are still experiencing so that they can document your suffering. This will make it much easier to get a letter from the doctor that connects your injuries to the accident if you need it to support your case.
Failing to Bring up Previous Injury
If a previous injury has been aggravated by the accident, you need to fully disclose this information to your lawyer and your doctor. When the defense accesses your medical records and sees that you have a previous injury in the same location that you were injured in the accident, they may try to claim that your injury was not a result of the accident at all. Disclosing prior injuries will boost your credibility in court and prevent you from having to dodge tricky questions by the defense attorney regarding your past injuries.
Providing a Recorded Statement to Insurance Adjusters
It is not uncommon after an accident to get a call from an insurance adjuster claiming that you must provide a recorded statement before they can offer a settlement. However, this is untrue. Any recorded testimony that you provide the adjuster can be used by the defending attorney for cross-examination. Even if you provide a completely truthful account of the accident and your injuries, it is easy for the attorney to twist your words against you and hurt your case. To protect yourself from this danger, you should always be sure that you choose the right personal injury attorney to represent you.
Filing a personal injury claim can be a complicated and difficult process, but yours can be successful if you do your research beforehand and work with a well-qualified attorney. Keep these tips in mind so that you do not accidentally do anything to damage your case.