Victims injured due to the negligence of others often experience severe pain, a loss of income and incur new and unexpected expenses. They will often want to focus on healing and recovery, but certain issues should be addressed if they plan to file a personal injury claim.
Common mistakes to avoid
The circumstances of each injury are different, but these common tips stand out for being easy to avoid:
- Not informing employer or police: It is crucial to start a paper trail either by using medical staff or law enforcement to officially document the injury or notifying employers as soon as possible that you have suffered an injury on the job.
- Not collecting information: It is essential that an injured individual, friend or family get contact information of witnesses and to collect information at the site of the injury, whether it is at work or a motor vehicle accident on the highway.
- Making a statement: Giving a statement at the scene of the incident in the chaotic moments afterward can often work against the plaintiff.
- Not continuing medical treatment: The injured may want to discontinue treatment because it is inconvenient or painful, but insurance companies will be quick to use this against you.
- Signing forms you do not understand: Victims may feel pressure to sign or simply sign without reading so they can be done with them, but this can complicate your claim later.
- Settling too soon: Plaintiffs may look at an offer and think it is a lot of money, but it may not be enough compensation to serve your needs in the long run, particularly if there is lingering pain or treatment is not as successful as initially hoped.
- Waiting too long: There are various statutes of limitations for filing a claim; moreover, a long gap can often mean that witness become unavailable or memories of the incident fade.
- Not keeping a file: Because the injured and family members will see a lot of paperwork after the accident, it is beneficial to keep everything organized in a file.
Seeking legal guidance
Victims may not even realize they have legal recourse. An experienced personal injury attorney can not only help determine the potential for recovering damages, but they can also offer guidance with paperwork, handling interactions with insurance companies and even recommend doctors. This enables the injured to focus on their recovery.