If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, feeling stressed out and overwhelmed is totally normal. As if being injured and facing a long road to recovery aren’t enough, you could also be facing financial hardship due to necessary medical treatments that are forcing you to take time off of work. The financial ramifications of a serious accident as well as those that accompany your recovery process can be challenging to navigate. Add to that the complexities inherent to filing a Virginia Beach personal injury claim where a seemingly minor mistake can have major consequences.
What mistakes could potentially jeopardize my personal injury claim?
To avoid putting your personal injury case in jeopardy, reach out to the experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can review your case in a free consultation and ensure that you don’t make any common mistakes.
Common Personal Injury Claim Mistakes
Some of the most common mistakes made in Virginia Beach personal injury claims are:
Foregoing or Delaying Medical Attention
After being involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you may not think you need medical care. However, foregoing or delaying medical treatment can have serious repercussions, not just for your physical health and well-being but also for the outcome of your personal injury claim.
In order to be eligible for compensation, you must be able to prove that the other party’s negligence was the direct cause of your injuries. The best way to do this is through the use of medical records and other documentation. When you are promptly treated for your accident-related injuries, the healthcare workers involved in your treatment process will keep records detailing the extent and severity of your injuries along with any procedures or treatments you need to facilitate your recovery.
Speaking With an Insurance Agent
After being injured in an accident, it won’t be long before the other party’s insurer gets in touch with you. Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. It is their job to investigate accidents and deal with injury claims. One mistake that is often made by accident victims is discussing the accident or their claim with an adjuster before seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
The insurance adjuster is going to ask you a lot of questions pertaining to the accident and your injuries. They are hoping that by putting pressure on you when you are vulnerable and asking you question after question, you will say something that can be used against you or something that will allow them to blame you for the accident. Due to Virginia’s contributory negligence doctrine, if you were even 0.001% at fault for the accident, you would not be eligible to collect any recovery for your damages. Talking to an insurance adjuster and answering their questions can undermine or invalidate your entire claim. Until you have sought legal guidance, you would do well to avoid any communication with the insurance company.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
More than anything, the insurance company does not want to pay you what your claim is worth. Their goal is to minimize your settlement as much as possible. One way they accomplish this is by contacting victims who have not even learned the full extent of their injuries a settlement. While the insurance company is well aware that what they are offering you will not even begin to cover your losses, you have yet to learn that for yourself. Protect yourself. Do not make the mistake of accepting the first settlement offer you receive unless you have spoken with a qualified attorney who has advised you to do so.
Waiting to Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Another frequent mistake made by personal injury victims is waiting too long to hire a lawyer to help them pursue compensation for their injuries. While it is understandable that seeking legal counsel might not be the first thing you think of after being seriously injured, an attorney is in the best position to build a strong case when you contact them soon after your accident. This will give them time to collect evidence that could otherwise be lost or destroyed. Working with an attorney from the start also means that someone is protecting your rights, working to get you maximum compensation, and ensuring that you are not taken advantage of while you focus on getting better. can fight for you to obtain the compensation you deserve while you’re solely focused on your recovery.
All We Do is Injury Law
The experienced Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have more than 50 years of combined experience helping injured clients collect maximum compensation for the injuries and losses they endured due to another party’s negligence. Call our Virginia Beach offices at (833) 997-1774 and schedule a free consultation regarding your personal injury claim. We also have satellite offices in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton.