When you are involved in an accident resulting in injury, there are many things that should be done to preserve and bolster your claim. Here is a list of common mistakes when considering a personal injury case:
- Not reporting the incident to local authorities or appropriate personnel. It is important to report an accident to the local authorities immediately after the accident occurs. This creates a timestamp for the accident and clarifies exactly the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit. Furthermore, reporting the accident immediately allows you to memorialize your recollection of the accident. This is vital, as it can be difficult to remember specific details months or years down the line. Lastly, it allows you to put another person on notice of the accident, someone who can then be used as a witness when presenting the report as evidence in court.
- Not seeking medical treatment. It is highly important to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident. By not seeking any medical treatment, it becomes difficult to prove you were injured as a result of the accident. You cannot make a personal injury claim without evidence of injury within a reasonable timeframe of the accident occurring. Getting the necessary medical treatment also provides a better understanding of the injury sustained and any additional treatment recommended.
- Discussing your injury with the insurance company. Never discuss the merits of the accident with the insurance company without legal representation present. While you may think there is nothing you could say to the insurance company that may hurt your claim, there is! They may trick you into admitting certain things that can severely reduce your chance of recovery. They may coerce you into saying things to minimize your injury or even worse, admit to lack of injury or being the sole cause of the accident. Experienced counsel will do most, if not all, of the talking for you to eliminate the risk of devaluing your claim.
- Settling your claim with the insurance company without legal representation. This is the absolute worst thing you can do in a personal injury matter. By settling your claim without legal representation, you will be settling your claim significantly lower than its actual value. Insurance companies will only offer a small amount of money to resolve your claim when your claim could be worth thousands. Once you settle your claim, you will not be able to seek additional redress in the future; this is why you should defer to counsel to monetize your claim while considering your injuries, pain and suffering, future medical treatment, lost wages, etc. If you settle your case with the insurance company too soon, you may not have sufficient time to appreciate and evaluate your injuries or impairment, which could harm you in the future.
Because of these mistakes, it is best to retain legal representation to fight for you and get the maximum recovery available.
If you are injured due to an auto accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Morris Bart today. You can fill out the free case evaluation form, Live Chat with us, or call us at 800-537-8185. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We have offices across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.