Common Personal Injury Claim Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the injury, you’ll also need reimbursement for things like medical bills, time off of work, and more.
Some accidents can even result in life-long or life-altering injuries. In any event, you need to work with a personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim and receive every penny you’re entitled to. More importantly, an attorney can help you avoid making devastating personal injury claim mistakes.
Yes, there are errors you can make that can completely derail your case, discredit your claims, and result in a low settlement. Keep reading to learn about the most common mistakes so you can avoid them.
Not Working With an Attorney
You’ll never know the true legitimacy or potential of your case if you don’t talk to an expert. However, there are a lot of reasons why someone might hesitate to contact a lawyer, even if they have sustained serious injuries.
For example, you might be worried that you don’t have a case because the accident was partially your fault. But rather than accepting your injuries and all the medical bills that come with them, find out if you are entitled to compensation.
Some people may choose not to work with an attorney because they believe they can’t afford one. Fortunately, personal injury attorneys charge what’s known as a contingency fee.
In other words, they only get paid if you win your case. If your case is unsuccessful, you won’t owe them a dime. This makes personal injury lawyers affordable for anyone.
Waiting Too Long to Reach Out to a Personal Injury Lawyer
Waiting too long to file your case is one of the worst personal injury claim mistakes. If you wait too long, your case may be invalid.
There is some confusion surrounding your claim filing deadline. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to collect evidence and provide proof of your claims. There is also a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim.
However, each case is different. For example, the results of medical malpractice may not become evident for several years.
No matter what type of claim you have, it’s best to reach out to a personal injury attorney to get a free case evaluation. They can help you clear things up to determine whether or not you have a valid case, and if you’re still within the timeframe to file it.
Not Choosing the Best Attorney for Your Case
Don’t make one of the worst personal injury claim mistakes of hiring the first or cheapest attorney you can find. Take your time to vet your options carefully. You must work with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer.
They have the background, knowledge, and expertise to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. A less confident or less experienced lawyer might allow you to settle low because it’s an easy win.
They might also lack the ability to compel the defendant to settle for an adequate amount, rather than go to court. If your case goes to court, it will be prolonged. It will also end up costing you more money.
Not Collecting Enough Evidence
A defendant or their insurance provider will only settle at a reasonable amount if you can provide evidence of your claims. This includes evidence of:
- The accident
- Your injuries
- Your financial losses
- Your pain and suffering
- And more
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your injuries will simply speak for themselves. Collecting evidence is the backbone of the claim filing process. Your attorney should do most of the heavy lifting here.
However, you can do your part by gathering different personal injury claim documents, such as:
- Witness testimonies and contact info
- Pictures of the accident
- A copy of the police report
- Copies of your initial notes of the accident
- Copies of your medical documents related to the accident
- Tax documents and pay stubs to showcase how your financial earnings have suffered
- And more
Some of this evidence will have had to be collected at the time of the accident. If that wasn’t an option, your lawyer can direct you on how to proceed.
Not Going to a Medical Professional
Not going to your doctor after an accident is one of the worst personal injury claim mistakes for several reasons. First, you need a professional medical evaluation to provide credibility and evidence of your injuries. Their official documentation is essential to your case.
Furthermore, your injuries might be more substantial than you thought. This includes your current and ongoing medical expenses. For example, if you’re going to need physical therapy, medication, and other aids in the future, it’s important to know these things now so you can add them to your list of damages.
Not Knowing the Value of Your Claim
One of the most important reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer is because they know how to properly value your case. Thinking only about the short-term consequences and injuries of your accidents is one of the easiest personal injury claim mistakes to make. A lawyer will make sure you also account for:
- Medical expenses (and all future medical expenses)
- Your pain and suffering (physical, emotional, and mental)
- Lost wages from time off work
- Financial changes and lost benefits (if you can no longer work or maintain your old job)
- Reduced quality of life
- And more
Your lawyer can help you assess your injuries and the way they will affect your life. Then, they will determine the value of each of these damages.
Don’t Make Any of the Personal Injury Claim Mistakes Listed Above
There are countless types of personal injuries, personal injury claims, and settlements. If you want to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, make sure you’re not making any of the personal injury claim mistakes listed in this article. The best way to avoid them is by working hand-in-hand with an experienced personal injury attorney.
We can help you there. Contact Mcgrath Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation. Will tell you what you need to know about your case and help you move forward with your claim.