Top 10 Biggest Mistakes in an Injury Claim
Accidents and mishaps occur fairly frequently; however, this regularity does not detract from the pain and confusion you feel when it happens to you or a loved one. If your accident was the result of negligence on the part of another person or entity, you may be entitled to recover damages through a personal injury claim.
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before they make it to trial. Your Jackson personal injury attorney can negotiate with the defendant’s insurer and lawyer in order to secure the best settlement possible on your behalf. If the other side is unwilling to settle, you may end up in a personal injury trial. There are a number of mistakes commonly made by those pursuing a personal injury claim, including the following:
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- Failure to seek medical attention immediately after your accident. Far too many people refuse medical attention at the scene of the accident. This could be out of embarrassment—i.e. not wanting to be loaded into an ambulance with others looking on—because they don’t want to miss work, or because they honestly believe they are fine. Following an accident, your body is flooded with adrenaline which can mask pain and other symptoms of an injury. If you refuse medical attention at the scene of the accident, then later realize you are hurt, perhaps seriously, the defendant’s insurance company may use this against you.
- Failure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Even if you do seek medical attention after your accident, you must continue to follow up, and make sure you fully comply with all your doctor’s instructions. If you fail to follow through with your prescribed treatment, the defendant’s insurance company is likely to claim there was another cause of your injuries.
- Misrepresenting your accident or injuries to your doctor. Always be entirely honest with your doctor regarding your accident. Don’t downplay your injuries, but by the same token, don’t exaggerate your injuries. If the insurance company finds out you exaggerated the extent of your injuries to your doctor, it will cast doubt on your truthfulness, and could skewer your entire case.
- Failure to call the police after your accident. Even in a relatively minor accident, serious injuries can result. Many people let the other person involved in the accident persuade them not to call the police because “it’s just a bump-in.” Having a police accident report can be crucial to your personal injury claim, so don’t skip this step, no matter how much pressure you are under to do so.
- Failure to fully document your accident early on. If you are physically able after your accident, take photographs of the scene of the accident. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their names and addresses before they leave. Document all of your medical treatments, and as soon as you are home and able, write down every single detail you can remember about your accident. This information can be crucial for your Mississippi personal injury attorney later on.
- Never, ever give a recorded statement to an insurance company following your accident. This includes your insurance company as well as the defendant’s insurance company. We all want to believe our insurance company is going to be just like the television commercials we see. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not your best friend, and even if it appears they are being sympathetic and understanding, in the end the insurance company is interested only in their financial bottom line. You are not legally required to give a recorded statement to an insurance company, and if you do so it can significantly hurt your case later on.
- Never settle with an insurance company without having an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney look at the offer. Insurance companies obviously want you to settle quickly, usually before you are even aware of how serious your injuries may be. By agreeing to settle quickly, you may find yourself stuck with substantial medical expenses related to the accident.
- Never hide past accidents or injuries from your attorney. Your attorney needs to know everything about your accident and injuries. In order to determine whether there are any potential problems in your personal injury case your attorney must have all the details. If you lie about a past injury or accident and the insurance company finds out, it could be very difficult for your attorney to overcome.
- Failure to take your case seriously. The insurance company is fully prepared to fight your case aggressively. This demands that you take your case very seriously and recognize that it is an adversarial process.
- Failure to secure legal representation for your personal injury claim. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Should you attempt to handle your personal injury claim on your own, you should be aware you will be facing insurance companies and attorneys who are highly experienced in handling personal injury cases. The slightest mistake on your part could cost you significantly. Contact a knowledgeable Mississippi personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident or incidence of medical malpractice.
If you are involved in a car accident in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Mississippi car accident attorney who will protect your rights and assist you in receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for injured Mississippi car accident victims – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.