Every year, there are an average of 24.8 million doctor’s visits for unintentional injuries across the U.S. If this shows us anything, it’s that accidents are a part of life and you never know when you could be next.
Whether it’s a car accident, medical malpractice, or a hit-and-run, any of these accidents could completely uproot the life that you know.
That’s why the more you know, the better when it comes time to file your personal injury claim. Read on and broaden your knowledge.
Fault in a Personal Injury Claim
The success of your personal injury claim hinges on whether you can prove fault, or not. You’ll have to provide evidence that proves another party was negligent, causing the accident and your injuries.
There are four important measurables when proving negligence:
- It was the duty of the other party to prevent or avoid causing harm
- They were in breach of this duty
- The breach of this responsibility resulted in your injury
- As a result, you’ve suffered significant losses
One of the best ways to prove negligence is to provide evidence from the scene of the accident. You can bolster this evidence with witness testimony (if any), expert testimony, and your police report.
When you’re certain that you can prove the negligence of the other party, it’s time to build your case. Here are a few common mishaps that you want to avoid:
1. Failure to Contact the Authorities
This is a common error that most people make because an accident might not seem serious enough to call the police to the scene.
You want to avoid this thought process. Always call 911 or your local authorities after any type of accident.
Once they’re at the scene, make sure to explain what happened to the police in detail (if you have the capacity to). Otherwise, get a witness to offer details of the accident.
It’s this initial police report that is extremely beneficial when filing a successful personal injury claim.
2. Not Prioritizing a Medical Checkup
It’s absolutely imperative that you provide a record of your injuries right after the accident happened.
Don’t make the mistake of delaying a doctor’s visit, even if you ”feel fine” after an accident. By the time your symptoms show up, it could be too late to hold any weight in your personal injury claim.
Even if your accident was minor, it’s still a good idea to visit your doctor and keep a record of it. Remember that if you do not seek medical attention, your insurance company might deny you the cover you deserve.
3. Neglecting a Prescribed Treatment Plan
It’s just as important to follow your doctor’s instructions once you’ve received treatment. Always follow through with the entire treatment plan, as prescribed, as this shows you’re serious about mitigating your pain and injuries.
You might not receive the full compensation you deserve if you’re not committed. Your insurance company could argue that you did not take your recovery seriously enough.
4. Not Filing Your Claim in Good Time
Depending on the state you live in, you have a restricted timeframe in which to file a personal injury claim.
In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years. If you don’t file your personal injury claim within this timeframe, it will most likely become obsolete.
It’s difficult if you’ve suffered a traumatic injury and do not have the capacity to file a claim during your recovery. In this case, seeking out professional help or using your family members as your proxy is a good idea.
5. Overlooking All Liable Parties
In many accident cases, there are a number of parties that could be held liable for the injuries you’ve suffered.
In the case of a car accident, for example, some of these liable parties might include:
- Other drivers
- Car manufacturers
- A shipping company
- An insurance company
- A government entity
- City workers, etc.
When you put your claim together you want to think about all the parties that might play a role in the outcome of your accident. This is especially important in the case of catastrophic injuries as there is generally more than one party at fault.
6. Accepting a Low Ball Settlement Offer
Many insurers are quick to offer you a settlement in the hopes you’ll take it, without thinking twice about what you could get/or deserve. But this is a major red flag to look out for when filing an insurance claim.
There might come a point where you should accept an offer from your insurer. But it’s never the first offer. This is especially true if you have not hired a personal injury lawyer to put your case together.
Remember that negotiations can take weeks or even months. Never settle for the first low-ball offer if you know you deserve more. And if you’re in doubt, always consider hiring an attorney to help you fight for your rightful compensation.
7. Failure To Hire Litigation When Needed
If you feel like you’re out of your depth when trying to build your case, it’s important to enlist the help of seasoned experts.
It’s also a fallacy that you cannot afford the right litigation. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. Basically, you don’t have to pay any upfront fees and your attorney only collects their fee if they win your case.
8. Not Asking Enough Questions
Filing a personal injury claim is a complicated process. If you have no background in law, you cannot expect to understand what’s happening at all times.
If you’re unsure of the details of the case, how the process works, the timeline, etc., don’t forget to ask your attorney questions. It is their job to keep you informed throughout the entire process.
It’s important to always advocate for yourself, even if you’re seeking out the help of a professional.
Personal Injury Expertise With a Difference
At Heard Merman, there is no personal injury claim too big or too small we’re not prepared to take on.
We are your local and national experts when it comes to personal injury and trial law — with a respected reputation to prove it. If you’re looking for the personal injury compensation that you deserve, our law firm is your answer.
Have any questions about your case? Contact us today for more.