7 Pitfalls to Avoid in Personal Injury Claims

Often I am asked by new clients what they can do to improve their chance of recovery.  Over my career, I have noted several ways that a personal injury client can adversely impact their own claim. Here are a few examples:

  1. Failing to follow medical advice: It is important for a personal injury client to follow the medical treatment plan recommended by their healthcare providers. If they fail to do so, it may be difficult to prove that their injuries were caused by the accident in question or that the injuries are as serious as they allege.  As a result, the claimant may not receive the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. 
  2. Posting about the accident or injuries on social media: Insurance companies often monitor the social media accounts of personal injury claimants, and any posts about the accident or injuries may be used against them. It is best to avoid discussing the case on social media or posting photographs that could impact the claim. 
  3. Giving a recorded statement to the insurance company: It is generally a good idea for personal injury clients to consult with a lawyer before giving a recorded statement.  In fact, the lawyer should be present at the statement since it is possible that questions may be asked that are not relevant to the claim. Furthermore, a recorded statement, without the assistance of a lawyer, could result in statements that could be used against the injured client and potentially harm their case. 
  4. Filling out documents related to the claim:  It is a good idea to speak to a lawyer before filling out documentation or getting documentation prepared on your behalf.  A lawyer can advise the claimant on what information is necessary to provide, and can help them fill out any necessary documents that will protect their rights and interests. 
  5. Failing to keep track of expenses: Personal injury claimants may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident. It is important to keep receipts and documentation of all expenses to support such a claim. 
  6. Accepting a settlement too quickly: It is generally a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer before accepting any settlement offers from the insurance company.  An insurance adjuster may try to get the claimant to accept a settlement offer before they have had a chance to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer can help the claimant understand the full value of their claim and negotiate for a fair settlement. 
  7. Exaggeration: Exaggerating the extent of the injuries or the impact of the accident on the claimant's life can also adversely impact a personal injury claim. If the claimant is found to have exaggerated their injuries or damages, it may damage their credibility and make it difficult for them to recover the full amount of compensation they are seeking. It is important for the claimant to be honest and accurate when describing their injuries and damages.

 

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