According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40 million people require medical attention for personal injury in the United States each year. In fact, personal injury remains one of the leading causes of death.
Some people choose to file personal injury claims in order to receive compensation for their injuries and recover damages. While many eventually get the settlement they deserve, a significant number of claims are unsuccessful or fall short of the victim’s demands. Often, the failure of a personal injury claim is avoidable. It comes down to steering clear of the most common personal injury claim mistakes, including the following:
1. Representing Yourself
Usually, insurance companies will attempt to settle a personal injury claim with you directly. They will argue that an attorney will only complicate matters and the legal fees will eat into your compensation. Keep in mind that the insurer’s main aim is to minimize payouts, and any proposal they present to you has this as the ultimate goal. In some states, such as Kentucky, the insurer will use comparative negligence allegations to deny or undervalue personal injury claims.
Insurance companies themselves have access to the best lawyers to ensure their interests are safeguarded. Going it alone places you at a major disadvantage. Hiring a law firm in new york city will cost you, but that may also mean receiving compensation that is much higher than you otherwise get if you try and negotiate on your own.
2. Assuming Success Is Assured
Some personal injury claims – especially those involving road accidents – can be relatively straightforward. That said, it can be a costly mistake to assume that the facts of the case are clear and a decision in your favor is guaranteed.
Every personal injury claim is unique and has its own nuances and complexities. So before you file a claim, it is important that you be thoroughly prepared and consistently adhere to the process. Work on the assumption that the other side will present a robust case and that you will need to counter it at every step.
3. Failure to Secure Evidence
Like any other legal proceedings, personal injury claims are determined by the strength of the evidence. A failure to secure evidence substantially erodes the odds of your claim’s success. While an accident can leave you shocked and disoriented, it is important that you regain your composure as soon as you can and start to collect evidence.
Take photos and videos with your smartphone. Get witness statements. Write in a notebook or diary the sequence of events and the prevailing conditions. If you are not in a state to do any of these, request someone nearby do it on your behalf.
4. Settling Too Soon
What is the biggest impediment to getting the settlement you deserve? Settling for any amount offered. And it is not too hard to see why personal injury claims are prone to premature settlement. After the injury, you may be faced with rising costs of treatment. This could be further compounded by lost income and a desire to put the accident behind you.
It may feel prudent to settle quickly as a means of preventing your debts from spiraling out of control. Doing so, however, means you may lose out in the long run. For instance, your treatment and recovery may take much longer than you had anticipated which could result in the compensation running out quicker than you expected. Thereby, it is always wise to click agrusslawfirm.com/personal-injury/ to see how hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer helps in representing your case and getting you the claim you deserve.
5. Not Documenting Financial Costs
People often settle for less than they should because they do not have an accurate picture of just how much the personal injury costs them. A failure to document each cost incurred due to the personal injury means missing out on invaluable information and evidence that would otherwise have helped your claim.
Write down each time you spend money because of the injury, including any money your relatives or friends spend to help you. Even seemingly small costs such as hospital parking or ordering take-out because you cannot cook will add up quickly. Keep any receipts or transaction-related communication. Share it with your attorney immediately in case you lose your own records.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Claims Process
When you experience a personal injury, the health issues will occupy a lot of your time as you try and recover quickly. However, do not lose sight of the personal injury claims process since it is important for your overall well-being as well. Avoid these mistakes and you can improve your odds of getting the compensation you are entitled to.