Every legal case is complex in its own way, but personal injury claims are typically the most sensitive when it comes to obtaining the justice you deserve. There are numerous phases in personal injury cases, including discovery, negotiations, and a potential trial. Therefore, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the specific rules in your state to help you receive maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, insurance companies and their attorneys often attempt to twist the facts of your case to make you seem like the villain. Your future and livelihood may depend on the result of your personal injury case, which is why you cannot afford to proceed without a trusted personal injury attorney.
There are several missteps that you can make throughout the personal injury lawsuit process, but some happen more often than others. Here are five common mistakes that can deter you from receiving the compensation you deserve in a personal injury lawsuit:
1. Failing to Call Police and Properly Document the Incident
In a court of law, the concrete facts of a personal injury claim will always reign supreme over lies and deception. This is why it is so crucial to document the aftermath of a car accident injury immediately after it occurs. In today’s digital age, almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera handy in their pocket. Documenting every aspect of your incident on a smartphone or camera could be the difference between winning and losing in court. First, you need to call the police. This may seem obvious, but—in some cases—drivers initially believe the incident is “not a big deal,” which is an enormous mistake. Once the police are on their way, start taking pictures of the property damage and the surrounding environment with your smartphone or camera. Next, obtain the full name and contact information of the other parties involved. If possible, identify witnesses to the crash so they can provide a statement to police as well. Obtaining this documentation right after the crash will help you in a court of law because the information was still fresh in the minds of you, the other party, and any witnesses.
2. Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Regardless of how injured you may feel following an accident, you need to seek medical treatment after you have finished speaking with witnesses and police. When an insurance company is asked to accept liability for your injuries, they will first assess your actions immediately after the accident. If you went straight to your weekly basketball game afterward without realizing the full extent of your injuries, you will have a harder time in court. When you delay seeking immediate treat for whatever reason, the legal system may automatically assume that you were “not really hurt.” The more time that goes by between your incident and a visit to the hospital, the lower your chances are to receive compensation. If you’re too injured to drive or wait for a ride to the hospital, make sure to inform the police officer that you need medical attention and they will help you.
3. Listening to the Advice of Friends and Family
In times of pain and distress, it is only natural to rely on the support and advice of your loved ones. Unfortunately, your friends and family cannot always help you after a personal injury lawsuit when it comes to figuring out your next steps. In some cases, a family member will say that they were “in a similar crash” and explain what happened in their particular situation. This may persuade you to make crucial mistakes in filing your personal injury claim. Some people even mistakenly avoid medical treatment simply because a friend advised them to “self-remedy” with ice or bandages. You should always lean on friends and family for emotional support in trying times, but never accept any type of legal advice from someone in your personal life.
4. Purchasing the Wrong Type of Insurance
Personal injury claims are much easier when the responsible party has adequate insurance to pay for your treatment and recovery. However, there are instances in which the other drive has no insurance whatsoever. If you have not yet obtained Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist insurance (UM/UIM), you need to do so as soon as possible. These types of insurance plans will protect you in case you are injured by a person with no insurance of any kind. The “average bodily injury” cost of personal injury claims is $150,000, and you cannot afford to be denied compensation because you chose the wrong insurance plan.
5. Failing to Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The success or failure of your personal injury claim is largely dependent on the experience of your attorney. You need to contact a trusted personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. While you focus on recovery, a personal injury attorney will begin exploring the specifics of your case to present the best argument in court. These cases often end in negotiation, so you need an attorney who will fight to obtain the best settlement possible and secure your financial future.
Dealing with police and identifying witnesses may be the last thing you want to do after getting injured, but these are all necessary steps that will greatly benefit you in a court of law. Above all else, you need an experienced Huntsville, Alabama, attorney who knows how to take on the big insurance companies on your behalf. Make sure to avoid these five common mistakes after incurring a personal injury. You deserve compensation for your suffering, and your future may depend on the first few steps you take following your injury. If you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact our top rated attorneys today.