The services of a qualified personal injury attorney can help clients decide on the best course of action, allow them to understand what to expect as their case progresses, and negotiate a fair settlement on their behalf. However, many accident victims and families choose to handle their claim by themselves. There are some standard stumbling blocks that people encounter when managing their own personal injury claims.
In such circumstances, many people mistakenly do the following:
Ignoring prompt medical treatment
An experienced attorney will initially advise an auto accident victim to get prompt treatment for their injuries as well as follow the physician's orders for recovery, including taking prescription meds, receiving physical therapy (if necessary), visiting the doctor for scheduled consultations, and getting adequate rest.
It is vital to get copies of x-rays, MRIs, and other medical tests. Your recovery is most important. The failure to document your injuries, through measures such as taking pictures, can adversely affect your case.
Do not undertake due diligence
Some vital aspects will fall on your shoulders after the accident, such as collecting evidence, gathering witness statements, acquiring police reports, and securing health records. Documenting anything that will help your case is crucial. You may also need to engage an accident reconstruction specialist or a private investigator.
The inability to undertake due diligence on your can severely jeopardize your case when fighting against the insurance company of the other party. You can be assured that they will try to gather all types of unfavorable information on you.
Fail to take images of vehicle damage
Things can get chaotic and stressful in the wake of an accident. In these kinds of circumstances, many people fail to do the one thing that can help their case: gather irrefutable evidence of the crash and the consequent damage.
Taking images of your vehicle, the car that crashed into you, the surrounding accident site, and any injuries you sustained is critical. The other party's investigator, who is experienced in minimizing how the damage appears in pictures, will take pictures that strengthen their own case. Therefore, you cannot rely on such photos and need to capture the accident site on your own.
Hand over your medical records to the other party’s insurer
Releasing your medical records to the insurance company of the other party is not a prudent idea, as this information can be used against you. The fact is that you should not even hand over your medical records to your own insurer unless the type of claim you are filing necessitates sharing this information. Your attorney can guide you on the best course of action.
Revealing too much information to the adjuster
You can certainly inform the adjuster about the gravity of your injuries, but do not go overboard with sharing tangential details. Remember, a fine line exists between what you should reveal and what you should keep private.
Capitulate to pressure from the insurance company
In many cases, people succumb to pressure from the insurance adjuster, who insists that the case can be settled rapidly. It is their training to hasten the process as they want you to settle for a fraction of the amount that your claim is really worth, and they are rewarded for doing so. They can even go so far as to pressure you to admit that it was your fault when it actually wasn't.
In such cases, it is vital not to give a recorded statement or sign a document. While they might appear friendly and polite, they certainly do not have your interests in mind. They are only amicable to gain your trust and compliance.
Do not have an understanding of the scope of the claim
Many accident victims assume that they are only entitled to immediate medical and vehicle repair bills. However, this is not the case.
Understanding the extent of your current and future injuries is important as this aspect can be a contributory factor to future medical bills, loss of income for time spent recovering, pain and suffering, cost of a rental vehicle, loss of business, cost of counseling for stress, and even the transportation costs to and from your physician’s office.
Do not retain proof of accident-related expenses
It is crucial to maintain all receipts and bills pertaining to your crash, including bills from the hospital, doctor, physical therapist, and pharmacy. If you do not save these receipts, you will not have proof of the overall amount spent on your damages.
Do not fight for a rightful settlement
When people decide to handle their own automobile accident claim, they are often not adequately equipped for the protracted legal battle ahead. If the settlement offered to you is not fair, then be prepared to file a suit. But how do you decide if an offer is reasonable or not? For insights on such matters, it is vital to discuss your case with an established lawyer to understand the advantages and risks related to further legal action.
A Skilled Personal Injury Attorney can Help You Obtain Your Rightful Compensation
With more than thirty years of experience in handling personal injury cases and handling countless personal injury claims, the qualified attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn can help you get the fair compensation that you deserve. Call today at 800-752-0042 for an in-depth consultation on your automobile crash case.