Being injured in an accident is a traumatic and overwhelming experience and, unfortunately, the trouble never ends there. In fact, most of the stress, frustration, and pain can happen in the aftermath. If you were
recently injured in an accident and are now contemplating your next steps, you need to be aware of the mistakes you must avoid as you start down the path of recovery.
Below is a list of some of the most common mistakes that are made during the personal injury claims process and how to avoid making them:
- Representing yourself: In an era where many of us try to cut corners and do everything ourselves,
this is one area where you should absolutely hire a professional. Attorneys go through extensive training and education to develop the skills they need and to specialize in the area or areas of law they choose to focus on. Assuming you can perform the same job that takes most attorneys years
to learn is a major mistake, so if you truly want to have the best chance possible of obtaining compensation, make sure you opt for professional help instead of attempting to tackle this situation on your own.
- Delaying medical treatment: This is another major problem. After being involved in an accident, you
should always seek medical treatment, even if you feel fine. You are neither a lawyer, nor a doctor, so make sure you also visit a doctor to ensure you are not seriously injured. Not all injuries present symptoms right away, so a serious health concern could be brewing without your knowledge.
If you find out you have a problem later on, the fact that you waited to see a doctor could seriously impact your chances of obtaining compensation since the insurance company will try to argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident.
- Delayed legal advice: Even if you are unsure of hiring an attorney, you should never hesitate to obtain legal advice. Many personal injury law firms provide free initial consultations to discuss your case, so you should absolutely take advantage of this service to get a better understanding of your options before you begin making any decisions.
- Not preserving evidence: Regardless of the type of legal matter you are facing, one thing remains
true across the board – evidence is crucially important. Unfortunately, as time passes, evidence can disappear, witnesses will begin to forget the details of the incident, and gradually the pieces that held your case together will dissolve if you fail to preserve them. Make sure you take photographs at the scene of an accident as well as any visible injuries. Whatever you can do to preserve these important pieces of evidence will only help your case.
- Ignoring your doctor’s advice: We all think we know best, but now is not the time to ignore your doctor’s advice. Remember, you are trying to convince the insurance adjuster or a jury that you sustained injuries in an accident, so if you start neglecting to follow your doctor’s instructions, or you miss follow-up appointments, and treatments, it will appear as though your injuries are not as serious as you claim them to be. Moreover, even if you feel like you are getting better, you should still heed your doctor’s advice. Otherwise, your condition might worsen or you will not be able to recover as quickly as would have if you did everything you were supposed to.
- Posting on social media: Many of us love being active on social media and posting to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Doing so while you are in the midst of a personal injury claim, however, is very ill-advised. Anything you post can be twisted and taken out of context to ultimately be used against you. For example, if you were at a birthday party and post a picture of yourself seemingly having a good time, it might be argued that since you were enjoying yourself, the injury you suffered is not affecting your life that much.
- Signing a release or medical authorization: Under no circumstances should you ever sign any documents unless you completely understand everything they entail. You could end up inadvertently signing a release that waives your claim forever, or you might be signing a document that permits the insurance company to access all of your medical records, neither of which you should do. Seek legal advice before you even consider signing a document, regardless of what you are told by the insurance company. Remember, their number one priority is to save the company money, which
means denying you the fair and just compensation you deserve.
- Lying or hiding evidence: Of course, you never want to provide more information than is necessary
to the insurance company and you should not volunteer information. That said, everything you do choose to tell them must be honest and truthful. When working with your attorney, you should also maintain a policy of honesty and provide all pertinent information regarding your medical history
and any previous accident claims you might have. Your attorney is on your side and doing everything possible to help you, so you have every reason to be honest. Otherwise, this could harm your case.
Personal Injury Attorney in Oneonta
If you or a loved one sustained an injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to seek skilled legal assistance as soon as possible to ensure you are able to obtain the compensation you deserve and need during what is undoubtedly a difficult time for you. At Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC, our team of personal injury attorneys in Oneonta are here to provide fierce legal representation. We will fight on your behalf to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for their negligent actions.
Get started on your case today and contact our law office at (607) 228-8404 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.