According to the Bureau of Transportation, about 7 million car accidents occur every year in the United States. Perhaps more surprisingly, each driver is likely to be involved in at least four accidents in a lifetime.
As you can see from these statistics, car and truck accidents happen frequently. Injuries from accidents are common occurrences too.
If you have been injured in an accident, you want to avoid personal injury claim mistakes. Read more below to find out how to navigate through personal injury claims.
7 Common Personal Injury Claim Mistakes
When a person involved in a car or truck accident believes another person is responsible, that affected person is eligible to file a personal injury claim. Below are seven common personal injury claim mistakes that you should avoid.
1) Not Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first common mistake is not hiring a personal injury lawyer. Dealing with pain and trauma from the accident is hard enough. You don’t want to also try to figure out legal issues.
Most people do not understand personal injury law. Others worry that they do not really have a case. Still, other people think they can handle their personal injury claim alone.
Without a lawyer on your side, it is very challenging to handle a personal injury claim alone. There are many benefits to having a personal injury lawyer take your case.
A personal injury lawyer can help protect you by working with insurance companies. It is risky for an accident victim to work alone with insurance companies.
A personal injury lawyer protects the rights of the accident victim by communicating with insurance companies on their behalf. Otherwise, the insurance company could take advantage of the accident victim.
It is especially important for an accident victim not to talk with the other party’s insurance company on their own. The other party’s insurance company may attempt to assign blame to the injured victim.
Also, a personal injury can help avoid claim mistakes. An insurance adjuster may be fair and unbiased, but ultimately they are loyal to their employer’s interests. A personal injury lawyer is there for the interests of the accident victim.
Attorneys understand the law and can hire experts to help assess the case. A personal injury lawyer understands what is required to prove who is at fault and the law that applies to your case.
An attorney can handle all the settlement negotiations and potential lawsuits. An accident victim can receive total compensation for the at-fault party’s negligence.
2) Not Documenting Your Accident
A second mistake is not documenting your accident. When an accident occurs, it is usually best to call the police. They will then file a police report, which will serve as your primary documentation.
If possible, take photos of what happened in the accident. Photos should include license plate numbers, dents, and other physical damage. You should also record the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of the other party involved.
If there were witnesses, get their contact information. It is important to back up your claims and not leave them to memory.
3) Not Being Aware of the Extent of Your Injuries
A third mistake is not being aware of the extent of your injuries. After an accident, it is common to focus on the most noticeable and immediate injuries, such as a broken bone. Yet, you may experience ongoing effects like headaches, neck injuries, stress, and trauma.
It is important to be aware of these other effects, seek treatment for them, and properly document them. Many people mistakenly believe their injuries are over after initial treatment. This belief is a mistake.
An accident victim may need ongoing treatment or physical therapy. Accident victims may not be aware of the difference between soft tissue and hard injuries.
Soft tissue injuries include sprained or strained backs or necks. They involve muscle injuries. Hard injuries are more serious and usually are awarded higher damages. These injuries include broken bones and head injuries.
It can be difficult to know what injuries you have after an accident and the extent of those injuries.
4) Not Seeking Medical Help Right Away
A fourth mistake, related to the third one, is not seeking medical help right away. Any injury, even if you think it is minor, can impact your life. Bumps, bruises, and pains should be promptly treated. This will help you recover more quickly.
If you delay getting medical treatment, it can also cause complications with your insurance company. An insurance company can even challenge your claim if you did not seek out medical help right away.
5) Settling Your Personal Injury Case Too Soon
A fifth mistake is settling your personal injury case too soon. Often, people in an accident wish to collect money quickly to pay for medical expenses. Yet, it could take months, or longer, to fully recover.
Hence, it would have been better to wait to realize the full extent of your injuries and expenses.
You may get a settlement offer from an attorney or an insurance company. Accepting this offer too soon is a mistake because the opposing party may be trying to pay a lower amount than deserved.
6) Talking About Your Accident With Others
A sixth mistake is talking about your accident with others. You do not want to make statements concerning details of the accident or injuries. These statements can be used against you by the opposing insurance company.
It is important that you do not talk with anyone other than your attorney about your case. Posting photos or videos on social media is also a bad idea. It may work against you as evidence, or it may make you look irresponsible.
7) Not Getting An Attorney Because You Think You Cannot Afford One
A seventh common mistake relates back to the first mistake: not getting an attorney, but because you think you cannot afford one.
This thinking is a mistake because most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay until you receive compensation for your injuries.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
A personal injury lawyer can help you with all areas related to a car or truck accident. An attorney knows about the types of personal injuries and how to prepare the correct injury claim documents.
A personal injury lawyer will also work with your insurance company, which may not put your interest first. A lawyer has the knowledge to understand your claim and how to get compensated for your injuries.
Overall, you a personal injury lawyer helps free up your time to focus on recovering from your injuries. An attorney’s primary responsibility is to secure your case and help manage your recovery.
Personal injury lawyers understand that most accidents involve negligence. This means that at least one person acted carelessly and caused the accident to happen.
Fontana Injury Law Group focuses on determining negligence and handling all matters of your case, such as documenting your injuries, handling the proof of those losses, negotiating the courtroom, and defending your rights.
Fontana Injury Law Group will help you determine the extent of your losses. Most claims involve medical bills and property damage, but others involve loss of income, emotional pain and suffering, and additional medical expenses.
A Personal Injury Attorney to Help You Every Step of the Way
Fontana Injury Law Group prides itself on helping its clients every step of the way. This legal group will make sure that you avoid personal injury claim mistakes and that your claim is filed in a timely manner. They will ensure your settlement process is handled right and as quickly as possible.
If you have been involved in a car or truck accident, you should contact Fontana Injury Attorney for a free consultation.