Personal injury torts allow you to seek compensation for negligence on another person’s part. It must result in physical or emotional injury. But the cases do not only apply to negligence.
Strict liability, for example, puts the blame on manufacturers for defective products. Intentional wrongdoings include battery, false imprisonment, or assault. Someone can decide to play a prank on you, and you get hurt. That could be the basis of an intentional tort.
Due to an unfortunate accident, you find yourself in the position of seeking personal injury compensation. But, wait. Do you know some mistakes could wreck any chances of a positive outcome? Take time to read this article to find out what they are.
Wrecking Mistakes To Avoid in A Personal Injury Claim
Not Getting the Services of a Personal Injury Lawyer
The law profession has many areas of specialization. Think about it much like medicine. You will not go to a neurosurgeon for heart surgery. The same applies to the law.
Some specialize in family, commercial, and personal injury law, amongst others. A Kennewick personal injury attorney said that this way, you get the benefit of the right kind of expertise. The attorneys have the right knowledge to handle such cases.
The lawyers understand the applicable state laws and have a long history of handling such litigations.
- Do not wait until the last minute to hire a personal injury lawyer.
- Do so immediately you realize you have a claim. This would be the case where you have significant injuries due to another person’s acts.
Avoiding Personal Injury Lawyers Because of Cost
Any kind of litigation can be pretty expensive. You have to factor in time and the cost of hiring legal representation. The latter may be why you decide to go through the process on your own.
But, there is a solution you may not be aware of. Reputable personal injury companies work on a contingency basis. That means they only get the money once the client gets a favorable resolution. Some will not even charge for the initial consultation.
You only need to dedicate some time to research the lawyer or law firm. You can get plenty of information in the digital space or offline. Also, read customer reviews to see whether what they say they offer in terms of service is what they deliver.
Talking to the Police or Insurance Company without Legal Representation
Let’s take the example of a car accident. When the police arrived at the scene, you were quick to give details. The same applies to insurance companies. What you don’t understand is there is a procedure you need to follow. Only give a statement in the presence of your Washington personal injury lawyer.
Calling the attorney immediately after the accident allows them to collect the necessary evidence. They will then document and ensure the preservation of such for use during the litigation process. You also get to avoid making statements that may put the liability on you.
Remember, insurance companies will want to protect their interests. If they find anything they can use to do so, be sure they will use it to their advantage.
Signing Documents You Don’t Understand
Please do not sign any documents without the go-ahead of your personal injury lawyer. Stick to this rule at all times. The other parties are out to protect their interests and not yours. The only friend you have in this fight is your injury attorney. To avoid costly litigation, the insurance company can offer you a settlement.
You may think it is a good deal, perhaps because you were not expecting much. Or, pressing financial issues can force your hand into accepting whatever they give.
It isn’t until later that you realize your injuries were significant. You are now looking at substantial medical bills to deal with the issues. The challenge is that once you accept the settlement, you cannot file a personal injury claim in the future. In essence, you will have tied the court’s hands in offering an additional settlement.
You should take any document you receive to your personal injury lawyer or legal team. Let them go through it and then give you the best advice.
A good lawyer does not always look at the courts as a first resort. The litigation process is time-consuming and expensive. If the other party offers a fair offer, the attorneys will advise on an out-of-court settlement.
Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
You were involved in a car accident a month ago. Since then, you have not decided to seek any medical treatment. Insurance agents can use your lack of quick action to argue that you did not suffer any injuries. It will become harder for the legal team to prove that, indeed, that is not the case. Please seek medical treatment immediately after any personal injury happens.
It is also crucial that you follow the doctor’s orders. Let’s say you get a referral to a physiotherapist. But, in your wisdom, you decide to ignore the recommendation. That can also be ammunition for the insurance company to claim that you are exaggerating the injuries.
Lack of Information and Understanding About Your Case
There is a lot that goes into a personal injury case. The burden of proof lies on you as the plaintiff. You also need to understand the applicable laws, depending on where you live.
Let’s take the example of the statute of limitation. The window runs from the day of the actual injury to about two years. But, there are exceptional circumstances that allow the court to extend the period.
As we said, one big mistake is not hiring a personal injury lawyer. But you must also take time to educate yourself. So even if you correct the first mistake and hire an attorney, don’t stop there. Read up on personal injury and ask your lawyer for everything you need to know.
Personal injury cases can provide great relief for aggrieved plaintiffs. The most important thing you need to do is hire the right lawyer.
Look for one who specializes in that area of law. The lawyer aims to fight for you to get the best settlement.
Also, avoid the mistakes we have listed above. One error can mean the difference between compensation and having the court throw out your case.