When you are the victim of an accident, and someone else is responsible, it is only fair that you receive just compensation for your lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering. Often, my clients say they feel overwhelmed by the complexity of making personal injury claims or the frustration of going toe-to-toe with insurance companies. Many worry they will not be treated fairly in the process. Though it may seem like the deck is stacked against you, you can help your case by avoiding these common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Seeking Prompt Medical Attention
After being injured, some people believe they can handle the pain or fear they can’t afford a trip to the emergency room. I get it, but it is not always easy to tell the extent of your injuries at the time of an accident. Waiting to see a doctor can make an injury more painful in the long run, and it could increase the amount of time you need to heal.
Being quick to treat injury will not only support your body’s healing process, but it can also support your legal process. Your medical records will be some of the strongest evidence in your case because those records show the severity of your injuries and pain at the time of the accident. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the easier it becomes for the responsible party or an insurance company to argue that the injury was not serious or to claim your injury was the result of something else entirely.
Mistake #2: Not Collecting Evidence
Medical records are one way to support your claim, but there are additional ways to gather evidence, and one of the best is probably in your pocket right now. A cell phone camera can be used to take pictures that may help your case. If you are injured by slipping or falling, take pictures or video that show where you fell, including any objects or obstacles which may have led to the accident. If you are injured in a car accident, photos and video of the scene, including the cars, the road, any skid marks or debris, and the license plates of the vehicles involved, may provide visual support for your version of events.
If the police or emergency services are present, ask for a name or take their card so they can be contacted for information later. If the police were called to the incident, an official report should be available after a few days.
Mistake #3: Trying to Go it Alone
Hiring a personal injury lawyer when you have been injured in an accident is one of the best things you can do on your own behalf. Opposing parties and insurance companies will certainly have the advantage of specialized legal teams, so it is absolutely necessary that you have someone to balance the scales in your favor. Contact my office today to set up a free consultation.