You got injured, and it wasn’t your fault. Life is unpredictable: maybe it was a car accident caused by the other driver; maybe you were injured on faulty work equipment, or maybe some other scenario. Whatever the case, it’s important for you to get the care and compensation you’ll need to make it through the challenges ahead. The tricky part of all this is that the decisions you make right after the incident are incredibly important in being able to document the information you need should the insurance companies or the other other parties involved prove difficult to work with. In this post, we want to tell you about some common mistakes that people make following an accident that make it difficult for them to prove their side in a personal injury case. We’d like to provide you with information that can protect and guide you if you suddenly find your well-being at risk through no fault of your own.
Common Mistake #1
Not documenting from the start. In the moment of trauma or injury, there’s a lot of shock, and it’s hard to maintain awareness of your surroundings. If you take one thing from this post, take this: document. Document everything you can. Take pictures. Talk to other who were on the scene, see if they are willing to give contact information. Calling the police or 911 is a way to document. Even noting the weather conditions if you can. Obviously, if you’re seriously injured you might not be able to take pictures or talk with people, but if you’re at all able, notice and record the details. Keep a journal of how you feel for the next several days. (If you’re not a writer, you can just record a voice memo on your phone.) The importance of capturing the early details of your experience can’t be overstated.
Common Mistake #2
Not getting the medical care you need. Many of us have a tendency to brush off or just cope with a certain level of pain or discomfort following an incident. If there isn’t active bleeding or obvious broken bones, it’s easy to feel like there are other more urgent matters and hope that you’ll feel better in a couple of days. Here’s the way insurance companies see it: if you didn’t go to the doctor, then you weren’t injured. We highly recommend seeing a doctor in the 24 hours following your injury. Make sure you tell them every ache, pain, and sensitivity. Keep track of the paperwork. It could prove invaluable.
Common Mistake #3
Signing paperwork from the insurance company without legal counsel. Don’t trust the insurance company. They are not working for you. It’s common for insurance companies to try to get you to sign paperwork early on that covertly signs away your rights to seek legal action later on. When it comes to dealing with the insurance companies, it’s important for you to have a legal advocate on your side.
Common Mistake #4
Waiting too long to file a complaint. Insurance companies drag their feet. Often their representatives buy time by keeping things “in process” and assuring you that they need just a little longer. This kind of stalling tactic can run you out of time under the statute of limitations and make it impossible for you to file a claim once you realize that you need legal advocacy. If you haven’t begun receiving responses and compensation within a few months of filing your claim, don’t wait. Talk to an attorney.
Common Mistake #5
Sharing too much information publicly. This might sound a little over-the-top and invasive, but honestly, posting on social media can seriously harm a personal injury case. If a Facebook picture shows you laughing with friends at a birthday party, the insurance company will try to use that as proof that your quality of life has not been hindered by the injuries you are claiming. Whether it’s social media or being too free in communication with any party connected in any way with the incident, sharing details of your private life can be used against you in the courtroom.
There’s a lot more we could say on this topic, but information of this sort can be overwhelming, and we want you to be able to hang onto a couple of these big ideas. Of course, we always welcome a phone call or a consultation if you have further questions.