4 Tips for Winning Your Personal-Injury Claim
With injuries occurring in workplaces, public areas, and on the road, you may need to file a personal-injury claim when you least expect to have to. It is important to be prepared for this legal conflict so you can avoid common pitfalls that could keep you from winning your case or could reduce the compensation you receive. Here are four mistakes to avoid for a successful personal-injury claim.
Neglecting to See a Doctor
In the eyes of the court, if your injury is serious enough to warrant financial compensation, it should also be serious enough to require medical treatment. Neglecting an initial doctor visit or any follow-up visits that the doctor recommends is one of the worst things you can do to hurt your personal-injury case.
In addition to going to the doctor in the first place, you must be sure that you cooperate fully with any doctors or physical therapists that you visit. Be sure to explain your accident and any pain you are experiencing in detail so that it will be documented in your medical records as well as your personal records. If you cooperate with your doctor it will be easier for him or her to confirm that your injury is a direct result of the accident, and this will increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Not Keeping Adequate Documentation
Injury can lead to a considerable amount of stress and emotional turmoil that can make it easy to forget the details of what happened during and leading up to the injury. Recording everything you remember in precise detail should be your first priority after an accident has occurred and after you have received any necessary medical treatment. The more details that you record, the easier it will be for your personal-injury attorney to prove that you were not at fault and that you deserve compensation.
You should continue to make or obtain documentation of relevant details in the days following the accident. Examples include conversations with insurance companies, how frequently you visited the doctor, medications you were prescribed, photos of your injuries, and records of lost income. All of this evidence will reinforce the fact that your injury led to substantial physical, emotional, and financial suffering.
Failing to Mention Previous Injury
If you have a previous injury in the same area where you were injured in your recent accident, you should disclose this information to both your doctor and your attorney. If you do not make this information known to the parties that are supporting your case, they will not be prepared to counter if the defense claims that your current suffering is simply a result of your old injury. Disclosing prior injury will boost your credibility by avoiding the perception that you are hiding information from the court.
Recording a Statement for Insurance Adjusters
In many cases, you will get a call from an insurance adjuster after your accident. If the adjuster says that you must provide a recorded statement before they can offer a settlement, you should decline. This is not required, and any testimony that is given to the adjuster can be used by the defense to cross-examine you. Even a completely truthful description of the accident and your injuries can be twisted against you to hurt your case. Never provide a recording on your own, and be sure that you hire the right personal-injury attorney to represent you and protect you from manipulations such as these.
Personal-injury claims are often complicated and stressful, but you can win your case if you work with a qualified personal-injury attorney and know how to avoid common pitfalls. Use these tips to maximize your chances of winning your case, and talk to law firms such as Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP to get started.