Many victims approach personal injury claims with misconceptions about how the process works and what they need to do for their claim to succeed. This eventually leads to, at best, unfavorable settlement terms and, at worst, the complete loss of the claim.
Personal injuries involve more than just providing an oral narration of what happened and submitting a demand for damages. Even when it’s obvious that the other party was to blame, obtaining full and fair compensation is difficult. In fact, personal injury lawyers may decline to take up your case if they deem the claim to be worth much less than you think.
There are steps you can take or fail to take that will doom your case from the get-go.
Failure to Document Circumstances Around the Injury
Over the last two decades, mobile phones have moved from an item affordable only to the super-rich to a ubiquitous, mass-market gadget. Today’s smartphones are minicomputers de facto, and allow you to do many of the things you once were only able to do using a laptop or desktop computer.
When you are involved in a personal injury incident, recognize that your phone packs enormous documenting power. Yet, injury victims routinely fail to take crucial photos and videos of the environment and injuries right after the incident. They may also fail to call law enforcement to obtain an official record of the event.
Failure to document deprives you of crucial, solid evidence you could table in your favor.
Failure to Get Medical Care
Delaying seeking medical help is a key reason for lost or diminished claims. A significant injury isn’t always apparent, so some victims are tempted to walk it off, only to later find out that it was more serious than they originally thought. Because they didn’t get checked by a physician immediately after the incident, the injuries and their implications weren’t promptly documented.
The longer you wait before seeing a doctor, the harder it will be to prove that your injuries were caused by the incident. The insurer could argue that the injuries were either caused or worsened by something else and will offer lower compensation than you deserve.
Lack of Complete Records
When you sustain an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, the negligent party should bear the costs of your economic losses. But, to be entitled to this compensation, you require robust documentation that details the losses.
Failure to include official records of medical bills, lost income, and lost opportunities that arose from your injuries will reduce your chances of obtaining the settlement you deserve. It would be helpful, as well, if you note in your diary or calendar the actual, everyday examples of how the injury has lowered the quality of your life.
Discussing the Incident with an Insurance Company Before Talking to an Attorney
Insurance companies exist to deliver monetary value to their shareholders. Insurance executives exist to maximize profits. Each claim paid out eats into the company’s profitability. Insurers have an incentive to settle for the lowest acceptable amount or explore loopholes, allowing them to deny the claim in its entirety.
So, talking to the insurance company before engaging your attorney can only be detrimental to your claim. They may record your conversation, compel you into admitting fault or get you to accept an unfavorable settlement. An attorney can help you evade these traps, so your case realizes its maximum potential.
Posting on Social Media
Social media is an integral component of modern living. It’s proven to be a powerful, convenient avenue for celebrating life wins and sharing painful moments with friends and fans. But social media can be detrimental to a personal injury claim. What you post on the internet can be used against your claim.
Whether it’s a narration of what happened or a photo of you basking on a beach a few days after the incident, the insurance company or other party may deem your claim of suffering and pain fraudulent. It would be unfortunate if your own social media account becomes the evidence that destroys your claim.
An injury can change your life permanently and make it difficult to function as effectively as you once did before. Don’t fumble your claim with these avoidable mistakes.
Author Bio: Riley Hammonds works as a full-time writer. His work ethic, attention to detail, and a commitment to provide high-quality content are what has made him successful in this industry.