Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim

August 13, 2021 Posted In Uncategorized

When navigating a personal injury claim, you can very easily make costly mistakes. To avoid being in this situation and risking your compensation, we’ve covered the common mistakes to be aware of before it is too late.

Failing to Get a Medical Examination

It is imperative that you see a doctor as soon as possible following a personal injury accident. This can seem obvious if you have a serious injury, but even if you believe your injuries are minor, get examined. Seeking medical care can not only save your life if a severe injury is not showing symptoms at first but will also provide documentation that directly links your injuries to the accident. An authoritative statement about your injuries supplied by a doctor can preserve your right to file an insurance claim.

Admitting Fault 

Even if you believe that you may have contributed to your personal injury accident, it is extremely important not to admit fault. Don’t downplay the accident or tell the other parties involved or, when applicable, the police that you may have caused it. Your own speculation may not be correct, and saying so could eventually become evidence and be used against you in your case. 

Failing to Collect Evidence

As a claimant, it is your job to prove negligence to recover compensation. Therefore, the more evidence you collect after your injury, the better. Take as many pictures and as much video footage at the scene of the accident as you can. Your personal injury lawyer and the insurance adjusters can interpret these images and videos, but your only chance to capture some of them is at the scene of the accident. Also, ask for contact information for any witnesses, keep a detailed journal of the event, your injuries, and daily symptoms, and keep track of accident-related expenses. An essential part of a personal injury lawsuit is showing the exact amount of your financial losses incurred because of the accident. 

Talking to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company 

The at-fault party’s insurance company knows that if they can get a lot of information from you, they can spin it so that it looks like you are responsible for the accident. They will search for inconsistencies in your story or ask you confusing and misleading questions about your injuries or the accident to suggest that you are exaggerating your losses. If they are successful, they can avoid paying your claim or will significantly reduce your compensation. 

Accepting the Initial Settlement Offer

If there is evidence of the other party’s fault, their insurer will most likely send you an offer letter within a few weeks or months after the accident. Even though the letter will contain instructions to sign and return it, wait to do so until you have an attorney review it. Insurance companies often attempt to settle personal injury claims quickly and for as little as possible. 

If you sign this form, known as a release of liability, you give up your right to sue the at-fault party. Settling your claim before you know the total extent of your injuries can prevent you from recovering the full compensation you need and are entitled to by law.  

Not Hiring an Attorney

Personal injury claims are difficult to navigate. Having an experienced legal advocate with a thorough, intricate understanding of the law to advise you on avoiding insurance company traps can make a massive difference in the amount of compensation you recover. Think you might have a case? Contact our Riverside personal injury attorneys.

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