When an accident leads to bodily harm and other damages, the injured victims can file a personal injury claim to hold liable individual/s accountable for the consequences of their actions. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case must go to trial.
The plaintiff bears the burden of proof in a personal injury claim. If you’re injured due to somebody else’s negligence, gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen your case. Working with a seasoned Phoenix personal injury lawyer can help you defend your claim better in court.
While the case is on trial, you must also be careful not to commit mistakes that could hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Here are common mistakes to avoid during a personal injury case:
1. Not Getting Proper Medical Attention
It’s critical to get proper medical attention after an accident or injury. Sometimes, a person may feel fine after, only to discover later that they were badly hurt.
Aside from health and safety reasons, seeing a doctor also ensures that all your injuries are properly documented, so you can receive the compensation you need to take care of them.
2. Taking Your Time To File The Case
Plaintiffs are often unaware that they only have a certain time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit. Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. If a case is not filed within that time limit, the court will refuse to consider it.
In the United States, the statute of limitations for personal injury can range from one to six years, depending on the state. This may seem a long time, but some plaintiffs miss the deadline. You can void this costly mistake by filing your claim and (if necessary) the lawsuit as soon as possible.
3. Accepting The Initial Settlement Offer
Many car accident injury claims are settled without going to trial, which can be quite beneficial. However, just because a settlement offer is made does not mean you’re obligated to accept it.
Negotiating a personal injury case settlement entails a great deal of back and forth and multiple offers. A defendant’s first offer is often seldom their best. When an offer is made, consult with your personal injury attorney to determine whether or not it is worth accepting.
4. Giving a Recorded Statement
Some victims make the grave mistake of giving a recorded statement to the defendant’s insurance company. The insurance reps did not call to check on you. They’re only hoping to fish information they can use against you, while protecting the interests of their client and that of the company as well.
If the defendant’s insurance company contacts you, refer them to your personal injury lawyer or an insurance company claims adjuster right away.
5. Lying About Your Injuries
One of the biggest mistakes a victim can make in a personal injury case is to lie about or exaggerate the extent of their injuries. Being untruthful will ruin your relationship with your attorney — and the judge or jury will likely see right through the deceit.
Embellishing your injuries will not raise your compensation; it can even have the opposite effect. If there are weaknesses in your case, discuss them with your attorney instead of covering them up. A competent personal injury lawyer can work with adverse circumstances to ensure a favorable outcome.
6. Oversharing On Social Media
If you’re in the middle of a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you might consider deleting your accounts while your case is being heard. People tend to overshare details about their lives on social media. In your case, a single post or photo may cost you your lawsuit.
Expect the defendant’s attorneys to go through your Facebook and Instagram accounts meticulously, searching for evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
7. Thinking You Don’t Need An Attorney
Accident victims can seek financial compensation for their losses without the assistance of a personal injury attorney. Many people choose to represent themselves in a lawsuit thinking that by not hiring an attorney, they’ll be able to save a lot of money. They could never be more wrong.
An experienced and skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorney understands the law and can help to establish the legitimacy of your personal injury claim. Most of the time, plaintiffs with qualified legal representation have a higher success rate and receive significantly greater financial settlements than those who don’t.
About the Author:
Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing mini-golf with her friends and family in her spare time.