03 March 2018 Posted By : Edited by Peter Tremblay

4 Big Mistakes People Often Make in Personal Injury Cases

Between slips and falls, car and truck accidents, construction accidents, product liability cases, dog bites, medical malpractice, and the dozens of other incidents that lead to serious physical and emotional trauma, anyone can find themselves in the middle of a personal injury situation at any time. And because most people aren’t prepared for the logistical and legal side of things, they often make big mistakes.

4 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

If you’re involved in a situation where you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, there are some things you’ll need to know. Specifically, you’ll want to avoid the following crucial mistakes.

1.    Failing to Get Proper Medical Care

Hurt people go see the doctor. Healthy people don’t. While you may pride yourself on being tough, there’s nothing smart about failing to get proper medical care in a timely manner after an injury. In fact, it’ll be used against you in your case.

Not only does proper, timely medical care give you the opportunity to heal, but it also provides documentation of your injuries and an expert medical opinion on your short-term and long-term prognosis.

2.    Speaking With Insurance Prior to Contacting a Lawyer

“The insurance company knows how personal injury cases work and will try to move in fast. They’ll have a representative from their company contact you and try to get a quick statement,” Bill Easterly & Associates explains. “In doing so, they’re hoping that they can get you to say something that will back you in a corner, remove liability, or otherwise damage a future claim you may bring against them.”

The best piece of advice is to be quiet and speak with a lawyer. You’ll have to eventually provide the insurance company with a statement, but you should only do so after your attorney has prepared you for their tricks.

3.    Signing a Release

There will be certain releases that you have to sign if you’re going to pursue certain legal processes, but never sign any release that isn’t required by the court of law. Releases and authorizations give the insurance company and their legal team power they can use to put you in a compromising situation later on. (One example is a full medical release, which gives them access to your entire medical history. Sometimes this is mandatory, but other times it’s not.)

4.    Accepting the Insurance Company’s First Offer

Insurance companies are in the business of “low-balling” people – it’s how they protect their bottom lines. Perhaps you’ve seen this in the past if you’ve been in a minor car accident. Insurance adjusters tend to value cars at 70 cents on the dollar – i.e. 30 percent less than what they’re actually worth. But they’re even worse when it comes to personal injury situations.

The first offer an insurance company gives you could be as low as 10-30 percent of what it’s worth. If you bite and say yes, you’re kissing thousands of dollars goodbye. Make sure you speak with your lawyer and gain as much leverage as you can in the negotiations.

Block Out the Noise

In the moments, days, and weeks after your injury, there’s going to be a lot of noise surrounding you. From the medical team treating your injuries and family members coming to your side to the mounds of paperwork and legal hurdles you must clear, you’re going to feel like you’re at the center of a cyclone that keeps growing.

From very early in the process, you must determine who you’re going to listen to and who you’re going to block out.

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