It is extremely important whenever you have been injured to avoid doing anything that may make it difficult to win your case or diminish its value. Insurance companies have access to experienced legal teams who have the specific purpose of exploiting weaknesses in victims’ cases so that their clients may avoid financial responsibility. For this reason alone, it is important that you always seek legal advice before speaking to an insurance company or the party responsible for your injuries. In addition, you will want to avoid these common mistakes that many people make that are costing them money that they are otherwise entitled to following an injury.
Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
There are several reasons to seek medical attention following an accident, even if you have walked away without a single mark and feel fine. Following any accident, you need to be certain that you have not sustained any serious trauma to your neck, spine or brain, which is extremely common in any event that causes a sudden change in direction or speed. Many serious injuries do not present symptoms until hours or days after the event and a delay in treatment can not only make these symptoms worse, but can be used to fuel the assertion of the defense that your claim is false. The most important thing to consider when you are thinking about refusing medical care, however, is the long term impact that decision can have on your health.
Internal injuries, especially to the brain, continue to worsen over time, which increases the risk of severe medical complications and the costs associated with treating those injuries. Rather than risk making an injury more severe and expensive to treat, it is far less risky to undergo tests to rule out the existence of any injury. Seeking medical care is also a sign to the defense that you are serious about your case and have nothing to hide.
Talking to Insurance Adjusters
Many people make the mistake of believing that their insurance adjusters are working for their benefit when this could not be farther from the truth. When speaking with an adjuster, you can be certain that every word you say is being recorded so that if you misrepresent the details of your case in any way, it will be used against you in order to deny your claim or to minimize its value. The reality is that most people find it difficult to remember every detail and when asked questions prematurely about the accident, will give inaccurate information— even when they are not lying or trying to omit information.
Some people feel pressure to speak to an insurance adjuster but you have the right to speak with legal counsel before divulging any information. If you take the time to retain the representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer before you speak to an insurance adjuster, you will be protecting the value of your case and allowing your attorney to maximize the amount of compensation he or she can recover on your behalf.
Telling Lies or Omitting Information
The easiest way to destroy your personal injury case is to tell a lie. Whether it is to a doctor, an insurance company or your own lawyer, lies will destroy the value of your case and your chances of winning it. If you feel that the truth makes you look bad or may devalue your case, a consultation with a personal injury lawyer can equip you with the knowledge and strategies you need to overcome the challenge. In most cases, people are overly concerned about factors that are not damaging to their cases in any way— other than in that if they lie about them, those lies can be used to call into question the details that do matter.
Assuming that Your Case will be handled to Your Satisfaction
If you have known your insurance agent for many years, you may feel a sense of rapport and that he or she is looking out for you regardless of what happens now or in the future. The agent that sold you an insurance policy has little pull after an accident and you need to always remember that insurance companies will do whatever it takes to limit their financial responsibility. Any time that you use to wait on an insurance company is time that the insurance company could be using to build a defense in the event that you bring the case to court. It is always better to prepare for the worst outcome and be surprised than to expect the best outcome and be disappointed.
Delay in Consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer
We all want to feel that we can handle things on our own or avoid the need for litigation but many of the traps people fall into can be avoided if they have legal guidance and are aware of their rights. One of the most important reasons to contact an attorney right away, however, is that the longer you wait, the less you will be able to help yourself. It is a proven reality that as time passes following an accident, your recollection of vital details will begin to suffer and not only will this hurt your case, but if the defense can prove that things didn’t happen as you recall, you will be labeled a liar.
Another important reason to speak with a lawyer immediately is what is called the Statute of Limitations. This law limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit following personal harm in order to protect people and companies from frivolous lawsuits that are filed many years after the event. When you have been injured, you are on the “clock” so to speak and must prepare and file your case within the Statute of Limitations if you wish to have it considered.
If you have been injured due to the actions of another party and have questions about your rights, contact us today for a consultation with a personal injury attorney. If we are unable to collect compensation on your behalf or you choose to be represented elsewhere, our advice is free of charge.