4 Mistakes That Hurt Personal Injury Car Accident Claims
12 June 2016
Last Updated on 12 June 2016
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Car accidents are an everyday occurrence and it never fails that victims of car accidents stop short of receiving the compensation they deserve to cover the costs of injuries, repairs and other losses incurred as a result of another driver’s negligence.
One of the reasons for these mistakes is that the victim often makes critical mistakes when pursuing/considering a personal injury claim. These 5 mistakes can mean the difference between receiving the compensation one deserves and being left to cover growing medical costs when an auto injury claim goes south.
Not Gathering Evidence and Contact Details: Because a personal injury case is all about evaluating facts, it’s critically important that you document all of details of the accident if you can at the scene. Of course, it’s most important that you seek medical attention for all of your injures first and foremost after an accident, but when possible, try to document all of the accident conditions and details i.e. getting camera photos of the scene from a variety of vantage points, recording the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses of the accident, documenting what they saw, if possible, and how to reach them in the future. It’s also important to ensure that you identify any possible video that may have captured the accident in real-time. If there are any nearby area businesses with surveillance cameras trained on the scene, it’s important to document that and record their contact details in case your attorney needs to contact them to request a copy of the recording at the time the accident occurred.
Waiting too Long to See a Doctor: Again, it’s vitally important that you immediately seek medical attention when involved in an accident. It’s important for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost because you can avoid further serious injury if you are given medical attention right away, thus mitigating the harm you suffer as much as possible. In fact, delaying medical treatment can open the door for insurers to deny your personal injury claim just for that reason, that you did not mitigate your injuries as is your responsibility in a car accident. Also, proving the injuries you suffered at the time you eventually sought medical treatment were attributable to the accident when it occurred months before, could be quite difficult in a personal injury case, and the burden of proof in any civil case is preponderance of the evidence. If the defendant can prove other activities experienced since the accident may have caused some or all of your injuries, you may lose out thousands of dollars in compensation or, worst case scenario, lose altogether.
Also, soft tissue injuries often take some time to manifest. Symptoms don’t often surface right away. Seeking medical attention right away can sometimes detect these injuries and document that you sought to mitigate damage immediately. And, of course, documenting your costs and medical care is extremely important in negotiating damages in an automobile accident personal injury case.
Not Following Doctor’s Orders: Again, this mistake opens the door to denial of your damages because it shows you did not mitigate damages which, by law, is your obligation in these cases. Following doctor’s orders (i.e. staying off your feet, making all physical therapy appointments, getting treatment and testing when required, avoiding strenuous activities) shows that your injuries are serious and you are serious about getting care. If you cease treatment against doctor’s instructions, become a non-compliant patient, or are found to be out and about carrying large bags or bundles while shopping when you were supposed to be getting bed rest, it runs counter to the seriousness of your injuries and, therefore, your claim.
Waiting too Long to Talk with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney: Last but certainly not least, waiting to find an experience attorney to represent you in your personal injury claim can not only hurt your case significantly but can sometimes leave your case dead in the water right from the get-go. Although it may seem practical to contact the adverse driver’s insurance carrier shortly after the collision, in reality, it is very dangerous. Discussing too much of the accident details, stating your opinion of fault or assessment of damages, or worse, agreeing to an early settlement offer can all hurt your ability to recover appropriate damages for your injuries without the aid of a practiced personal injury attorney like those at Panio Law Offices. Insurers are in the business of negotiating and their representatives are trained to minimize the carrier’s risk and save them as much money as possible in these cases. Unless you are a seasoned personal injury attorney, it’s not in your best interest to negotiate with a professional whose only incentive is deny your claim or force you to settle short of whats fair and reasonable.
Our experienced attorneys understand the burden of proof in these cases, are practiced in the art of negotiation and are fully aware of the variety of damages you are entitled to. Settling early and hastily may only eliminate the possibility of recovering damages for losses you have not considered or were aware of at the time of the accident.
If you find yourself a victim of a car accident and need the advice of a practiced personal injury attorney, call Panio Law Offices at 888.799.7561. Our compassionate, experienced attorneys can recover the largest awards to which you are entitled to cover your injuries and other losses, so that you can focus on moving past the accident and getting on with your life.