There are many mistakes that you can make when you suffer a personal injury and decide to engage in legal action. Deciding to take legal action, in order to hold responsible a liable party after suffering a personal injury, is a good thing to do. However you should be aware of the common mistakes that people make regarding a personal injury lawsuit. These mistakes can be avoided and should be considered if you are ever in need of legal counsel or advice.
Here is a list of five common personal injury lawsuit mistakes that are made by individuals. Take note of these mistakes and do all that you can to try and avoid making them yourself.
If you are involved in an auto accident that results in you becoming injured and that injury is the fault of another motorist, your mind is thinking about a lot of different things, such as getting to a hospital, notifying loved ones, determining the seriousness of the injury and the like. One of the things you may not be thinking about is getting documentation regarding the accident so that this information can be provided to the police and your insurance company. This mistake should be avoided – if you are involved in an accident and as long as the nature of the injury you suffer is not life threatening and requiring your immediate transport to a hospital, you need to call the police via 9-1-1 and file a police report immediately.
Filing the police report will allow you to "tell your story" and get the information regarding your accident and injury on paper. The police can also interview any witnesses that can corroborate your story and prove valuable in the case where your situation turns into a lawsuit or claim against the motorist or their insurance company.
You must seek medical attention after an accident has occurred. This is another mistake that is made when you suffer a personal injury. The reason why you need to seek medical attention is so that a medical professional can assess your situation and determine if you have suffered any serious damage to your body as a result of the accident. X-rays and other tests can be run by the hospital and a record started regarding your physical state. Some of the symptoms associated with an accident may sometimes not manifest themselves until days after the accident. An attending doctor can make this assessment as part of your medical file.
Additionally, if you fail to obtain medical attention promptly, an insurance company is likely to use this fact against you when evaluating whether to pay you a fair amount for your personal injury claim.
A very common mistake that is made when a personal injury occurs is the signing of legal documents that have not been properly vetted by an attorney representing your interests. All too often papers get shoved into your face when an injury happens in hopes that you will not fully read or understand what you are signing. When this happens, you give leverage and power to the other side as you have probably signed away important legal rights that you were entitled to as a result of the personal injury.
You should absolutely, under no circumstance, sign any document presented to you by the other party involved in a personal injury until you have shown those documents to your personal injury attorney. You should not feel pressured into signing anything; take the time necessary to properly review and understand what is being presented before you sign anything.
In addition to a police report and medical information regarding your personal injury, you should further document the incident that caused the personal injury. This includes interviews with witnesses and their personal information and photographs. Doing so will help you with recall and strengthen your case against the other motorist or party that caused your injury.
Hiring an attorney quickly after an accident may also be necessary in order to preserve key evidence, like that maintained as part of on-board vehicle data recorders (black boxes).
This mistake is also one of the five common mistakes that happen when a person suffers a personal injury. The injury victim is presented with a settlement offer from the insurance company that may seem acceptable, particularly in times when a person is facing financial hardship and can benefit from the offer. Unfortunately the extent of the injury or injuries suffered may not fully manifest themselves for days, weeks or even months and years after the accident. If this happens to you because of a personal injury, you will find yourself with no recourse and very little resources to deal with your injury.
Moreover, the insurance company deals with thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of these types of claims every year and knows very well the true value of your claim. The goal of the insurance adjuster is to try to settle your claim against the insurance money for less than this value. In fact, that is the insurance adjuster’s primary goal much of the time: to see how much less than fair value they can settle the case for. Some insurance companies have even created bonus structures and incentives for the adjusters when they settle claims for less.
Only a qualified personal injury attorney can fully and properly evaluate your case, including sharing with you the actual, True Case Value™ of your claim. The insurance company will never tell you this amount. Our injury lawyers can evaluate this issue in minutes, without you ever leaving your home.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.
Advertising Materials / Legal Advertising. Any testimonials or stories set forth on this website are by actual clients and their families. Such testimonials or stories are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a promise or guarantee as to the outcome of your specific case and may not be typical. Every case presents unique facts and circumstances. You case and expected outcome will likely differ from the facts of the cases listed. The only way to properly evaluate your case is to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney.