Eight mistakes to avoid when making a compensation claim for personal injury
Have you been injured through the negligence of someone else? Here are eight mistakes to avoid when making a claim.
Making a claim for compensation after a personal injury can be complex and stressful. To increase your chances of success, you need to follow the process properly and get expert legal help. In this article we look at eight common mistakes to avoid when making a compensation claim for personal injury.
1) Delaying medical attention
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to delay (or not seek) medical help after you have been injured. Getting prompt medical care can help to minimize the extent of your injuries, and check there aren’t any hidden injuries you have missed. It also – importantly – establishes a clear link between the accident and your injuries, which will strengthen your claim.
2) Not reporting the incident
If you do not report an incident to the appropriate authorities, including the police or your employer, it could weaken your case later on. Official reports are important documentation that can help to corroborate your version of events, and are valuable evidence when making a claim.
3) Not gathering evidence
One frequent stumbling block in many personal injury claims – and one that can lead to losing a case – is a lack of evidence. Remember: your claim is only as strong as your ability to prove it, so gather as much evidence as you can to back it up. This includes (but is not limited to) photos of the accident scene, if there is one, witness contact details, and relevant documentation, including medical records and receipts.
4) Admitting fault
Never, ever, ever say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault. Unfortunately, even comments that may seem innocent can be used against you. So stick rigidly to the facts when speaking to other parties, law enforcement, or insurance companies.
5) Accepting the first settlement offer
It’s easy to feel relieved when an offer is made in a personal injury case. After all you don’t want to drag a traumatic case out for any longer than necessary, and some money is better than none, right?
This is where having legal knowledge is important. Because, in the hope of closing a case quickly and relatively cheaply, insurance companies often offer a quick settlement for a minimal amount. So, before you accept any settlement, speak to a legal specialist, such as a Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer. They will check the offer is fair.
6) Not knowing the statute of limitations
It is essential that you act in a timely manner when pursuing a claim for lots of reasons. But perhaps one of the most important is that every state has a statute of limitations with a deadline for filing a personal injury claim. If you aren’t aware of this deadline you can lose your right to seek compensation.
7) Overlooking future damages
To be considered fair, any compensation you receive doesn’t just need to cover your expenses to date, and for any injury or emotional distress; it also needs to adequately cover your current and future expenses. This includes medical expenses, lost wages and ongoing rehabilitation costs.
Again, this is why you need the help of an experienced lawyer – without them you may accept a claim for less than you need or are entitled to.
8) Posting on social media
Last but most definitely not least, try to resist posting about your injuries or claim on social media. Why? Because iInsurance adjusters and opposing parties may use this information to dispute your claims. You also may inadvertently say something that can be construed as an admission of fault. If you say nothing then there is no chance your posts can be used against you.