4 Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Posted on: 15 January 2019

You may not be able to plan for a personal injury, but you can prepare for one. Therefore, if you are injured while operating a vehicle or after an accident such as a slip and fall in a public place, understanding how to navigate a personal injury claim is smart. Unfortunately, even if you do understand the process of filing a claim, you may make a costly mistake. This guide will help you avoid a few common mistakes made when filing a personal injury claim.

Not Contacting the Police

One of the most common mistakes people make is believing they do not need to contact the police. Doing so is necessary for a few reasons.

In most cases, the police are the ones who will determine who or what is at fault. For example, if you are involved in an automobile accident that has caused an injury, the police have the skills and experience to determine who or what is at fault. This is essential for filing a claim, especially if another driver caused the accident.

Other than determining fault, the police can also write up a report, which can be used when filing the claim against the other driver. Your lawyer can request a copy of the police report from the police station, ensuring it is on file and when initiating the personal injury claim.

While they are not admissible in court, police reports can be beneficial when negotiating settlements.  

Not Seeking Medical Attention

Another mistake that is often made is not getting medical help after the accident or your injury. Even if you feel fine, you should still consult a doctor regarding the accident, since even minor issues, such as a fender bender or slip and fall, can cause back pain, sprains, and even head or neck injuries.

Remember that some injuries may not show immediate symptoms. Concussions, whiplash, and even internal bleeding may not be noticeable until these injuries become more severe over time.

Once your injuries are addressed and treated, a record of your medical care will be used when filing the claim against the other party. The medical records can be used to determine the severity of your injury, helping attorneys calculate an appropriate settlement amount that will cover your medical care, prescriptions, physical therapy, and even any emotional distress you may be experiencing.

Not Gathering Evidence

There may be instances where others witness your accident or injury. Or you may be injured, but not so severe that you cannot focus and document your surroundings. It is important to gather as much information as possible from witnesses and the surrounding environment to use as evidence when filing your personal injury claim.

Ask witnesses for an account of what exactly they saw in hope that they provide details on other drivers and vehicles and their driving methods. If possible, use your smartphone to take photos of the accident scene, as well. This will help your lawyer determine if there was anything that caused your accident, which can be especially important if you have been injured in a public place, such as a store.

Not Hiring an Attorney

There are many people who feel their injury is not severe enough to warrant a personal injury claim. In reality, you should be compensated for even minor injuries, especially when caused by the fault of others.

If you have any questions regarding your injury, consult an attorney who will walk you through the process of determining how strong your case is and filing the suit against another person or business.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you will be compensated for your physical and emotional distress that resulted from an accident or injury. For more information, talk with a personal injury attorney.