Accidents happen every day. Car accidents, workplace accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents are only a few kinds that can injure people or even cause deaths.
When these accidents occur through no fault of your own, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. However, it’s vital to avoid common mistakes that can potentially damage your claim.
If you’re one of the millions of people injured annually in an accident caused by someone else, you likely need assistance to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. 1800 Ask Gary can help you find an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
If you sustain injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you probably have grounds to file a personal injury claim. Negligence is not behaving like a reasonable person would in a similar situation and can be a deliberate or unintentional omission or act.
Negligence is the basis for most personal injury cases. To hold the liable person or party responsible, you’ll usually need to perform an investigation.
When you hire an attorney, their law firm will handle all the details so you can recover from your injuries. 1800 Ask Gary can refer you to a local lawyer with experience handling claims similar to yours.
What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid?
Learning about the most common mistakes people make that hurt their personal injury claims and lawsuits can help you avoid them. Unfortunately, people make some of the biggest mistakes innocently, but these can have significant adverse impacts on the amount of compensation they can obtain.
Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Your health is your most pressing concern after an accident. Even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe, seeking medical attention immediately is crucial.
A doctor or another medical professional can spot injuries that aren’t initially apparent. Their written report of your medical evaluation becomes an official statement your personal injury attorney can use in your personal injury case.
Not Reporting Your Accident
Whether you were involved in a car accident or another kind that injured you, you need to report it to the proper authorities. Officers who respond to the scene will make an official police report, which is usually necessary for filing a personal injury claim.
Failing to Gather Evidence
You have a unique opportunity to gather evidence at your accident scene, no matter where and why it occurs. You should take photos and make videos that show:
- The entire site, injuries, and property damage
- Contributing factors, like adverse weather or lighting conditions, roadway obstructions, icy or slick spots, missing handrails, objects left in walkways
- Witnesses present
- Any other pertinent details
Pictures can show the full extent of a situation much better than words. They can also help you to avoid a court proceeding.
One of the most common mistakes people make after an accident is admitting to some degree of fault. Insurance companies can use even a simple “I’m sorry” as an admission of fault to reduce the amount of compensation they pay.
Not Consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer
1800 Ask Gary can connect you with a personal injury law firm that offers a free consultation. A competent personal injury attorney can assess your case, tell you what fair compensation for your damages is, and how they can assist you with your personal injury case.
Most personal injury attorneys will:
- Advise you and give legal options
- Ensure that you receive proper medical attention
- Complete and submit the necessary paperwork for you
- Investigate your accident
- Serve as your spokesperson with insurance company representatives
- Negotiate with liable insurance companies to obtain a fair settlement offer
- Take your case to court if necessary
A law firm has resources that you probably don’t. Your lawyer can typically accomplish these tasks easier and more effectively than you can.
Thinking You’ll Have To Go to Court
Most personal injury cases settle without the need for a trial. Insurance companies like to avoid court trials because they’ll likely have to pay additional compensation, and the costs of a trial are usually expensive.
Giving Too Much Information to Insurance Company Representatives
Insurance companies aren’t your friends when you file a claim. They don’t want to pay you. Representatives and investigators may try to trick you into making common mistakes in a recorded statement. They may also ask you to sign paperwork that includes fine print you may not understand.
It’s in your best interest to let your personal injury attorney handle all communications with insurance companies to avoid making costly errors. Don’t sign anything related to your accident claim before your attorney reviews it. Contact 1800 Ask Gary to find an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Missing Filing Deadlines
A statute of limitations is a time limit for taking legal action. Every personal injury claim is subject to a statute of limitations, which differ by state and even within a specific state. If you miss these filing deadlines, you may lose your right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Your personal injury attorney needs sufficient time to prepare your case, so don’t wait too long to contact 1800 Ask Gary to find qualified personal injury lawyers in your area.
Ceasing Recommended Medical Care
Injured accident victims often need extensive medical treatment. Without proper medical attention, they may not recover from their injuries fully. Compensation for medical expenses is a standard part of most personal injury claims, so don’t let rising medical bills prompt you to discontinue treatments.
You can also damage your personal injury claim if you cease treatments that your doctor recommends. Insurance company investigators will look for evidence showing your injuries aren’t severe or that you didn’t sustain them in the accident. Don’t give them any ammunition.
Accepting an Initial Settlement Offer
Many injured accident victims aren’t aware that they can negotiate with insurance companies to obtain a better settlement offer. Many people get more compensation when lawyers represent them. 1800 Ask Gary will help you find a qualified lawyer in your area.
What Does Filing a Personal Injury Claim Accomplish?
If you sustain injuries in a car accident, for instance, you will likely have resulting medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses. The liable person’s insurance company is responsible for paying some or all of these expenses.
You may also qualify for further compensation if your injuries are severe, subject to your state’s laws. Without a personal injury lawyer involved in your case, an insurance company settlement probably won’t include payment for things like:
- Pain and suffering
- PTSD, anxiety, and depression
- Future medical expenses and lost income
Don’t accept a settlement for less than you deserve. Let your lawyer negotiate to obtain a favorable offer.
Why Should You Contact 1800 Ask Gary?
Injured victims often don’t know where to turn to get vital legal assistance. 1800 Ask Gary is a free service that connects those in need with personal injury attorneys or medical providers.
You can start the process 24/7 by calling 1-800-275-4279 or submitting an online contact request form. Get the help you need now.