Avoid These 7 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes At All Costs
Getting injured is not cheap. Believe it or not, the average cost of a trip to the emergency room runs anywhere from $150 to $20,000 depending on the severity of your injuries.
Even a minor accident can put a huge strain on your budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a small payout from the insurance company. If someone else caused the car accident, you could have a personal injury claim that needs to get settled in court.
Though every case is different, there are some common mistakes you should always try to avoid. Here are a few mistakes that can keep you from getting the most out of your claim.
1. Not Seeing Your Doctor
Medical care is expensive, even if you have insurance. But not going to your doctor after your injury can derail your personal injury claim quickly.
Think of your medical treatment as a way to establish proof of your injuries. Your doctor keeps detailed records of everything appointment you make and every treatment they prescribe.
This helps detail the severity of your injuries and shows just how much money your recovery will cost. But most importantly, it helps speed your recovery.
Personal injury lawsuits can help you get the compensation you deserve. They can’t help you heal any faster—only your doctor can do that.
2. Throwing Away Key Information
Most successful personal injury claims have supporting documentation showing just how bad the accident was. This can include pictures, witness statements, police reports, and insurance company estimates.
Throwing any of that information away can make it harder to have a successful personal injury claim, especially if you end up in court.
Instead of throwing things away because you seem to be on the mend, put all of that information in a safe place. Create a designated file or folder and keep it on-hand in case you decide to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
The more documentation you have, the easier it will be for your attorney to represent your case.
3. Not Hiring an Attorney
When you’re injured, your main priority is getting better as fast as possible. This means it’s tempting to dismiss the accident and focus on your recovery.
Unfortunately, this can mean you’ll end up paying more than you should for the damage suffered.
If you’re thinking about suing the person responsible for your injuries, don’t just daydream about it. Hire an attorney and let them represent your case.
They’ll work for you, not the insurance companies, to make sure you get the money you deserve.
4. Signing the Wrong Documents
Throughout the claim process, you’ll get asked to sign a lot of paperwork. With so many documents getting sent your way, it’s easy to stop paying attention to what they say.
But if you’re not careful, you could end up signing away your right to sue the responsible party.
Whenever you’re given a form, a release, or offered a settlement, make sure you read the documents thoroughly. If anything looks strange or you have questions about what those documents say, speak with your attorney.
If you sign your right to sue away, your claim will get dismissed immediately. Worse, you won’t have the chance to reopen the case if your injuries grow worse over time.
5. Thinking You’ve Waited Too Long
In Indiana, you typically have two years to bring a personal injury claim to court. But there are always exceptions.
If you think you’ve waited too long and haven’t filed a claim, don’t give up hope. Speak with an attorney to determine whether the case is still valid or if the statute of limitations prevents you from suing.
Every case is different and some personal injuries may not be noticeable until well after the accident. Your attorney will be able to tell you if you still have a case. If you do, they’ll help you start the filing process and can take the stress out of going to court.
Remember, most initial consultations are free. You won’t have to pay to find out if you have a case and if you do, you’ll be better prepared to decide how you want to handle things.
6. Looking at Fault Too Narrowly
There may be more than one party liable for your injuries. If you focus on the one you know, you could be missing out and may end up getting a lower settlement amount than you deserve.
Broaden your scope and start thinking about the other factors that might have played a part in the accident.
If more than one party is at fault, the amount you could get out of the settlement may be higher than you thought. This could make the difference between just getting by after your accident and making sure you have enough to cover the full cost of your treatments.
7. Focusing Solely on the Physical Damage
During your recovery, you’re focused on the physical injuries you suffered. These are the ones that cause the most noticeable pain and keep you from living the life you’re used to. But they’re not the only injuries you suffer.
It’s always worthwhile to look at the emotional damage done by the accident when deciding how much you want to ask for in the settlement. In some cases, emotional pain may even be more severe than the physical discomfort.
Neglecting that aspect of the case is one of the worst things you can do.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?
If you’re injured in an accident that you’re not at fault for, you likely have a personal injury claim. Don’t accept what the insurance company offers you as a settlement without finding out if you deserve more.
Contact the team at Truitt Law Offices and schedule a free consultation. Their attorneys will work for you get the compensation you deserve.