What would you do if an accident changed your life today? Most people never think that a rear car collision or a simple slip and fall can have a big effect on their lives. But when accidents happen, they can be devastating.
Accidental injuries have become the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. And plenty that don’t die end up suffering severe consequences for simple mistakes.
Injury lawsuits have helped people get financial compensation for their injury and prevent others from experience the same pain they went through. But these lawsuits are never a sure thing.
You may have been harmed by no fault of your own, but you could still lose your lawsuit if you approach it the wrong way.
Read on to learn what you should avoid doing if you want to win your personal injury case.
Injury Lawsuits 101: 6 Mistakes to Avoid
It can be jarring to think that you could lose a suit you’re depending on, but it happens more often than you’d like to think.
Any personal injury lawyer can tell you a story about where a client didn’t get what they deserved because of a simple mistake.
We can’t guarantee that you’ll win every suit you file. But we do know if you follow these tips, your chances for winning will improve.
1. Forgetting to Preserve Evidence
In personal injury lawsuits, the evidence is everything. The jury’s verdict will depend on it, and so will your settlement. The more evidence you have, the better your chances of winning will be.
Photos can help preserve important parts of your case. Take pictures of an accident scene, snap a few photos of your injuries, and keep a journal of any and all medical symptoms you’re experiencing.
If there were any witnesses to the accident or injury, you’ll want their names and contact information for your case. If there was a police report filed, do your best to get your hands on it as soon as possible.
Don’t worry about having to personally contact witnesses. Your attorney can handle getting important information from them.
2. Neglecting Medical Care
You claim that the injury has turned your life upside. Your family has been affected, your job performance has suffered, and you’re starting to experience severe anxiety and depression.
But despite all these serious claims, you haven’t seen a doctor for treatment.
Going to the doctor once after an accident won’t prove much to anyone. It doesn’t show that the injury has had a significant impact on your life, and it won’t be enough to sway the judge and jury.
If you want to get a comprehensive injury settlement, you’re going to need doctors and other healthcare professionals to document your injury and needed treatments.
Documentation from medical professionals can be excellent evidence in your case. It shows how your life was impacted, and it can give people on both sides an accurate image of how medical costs have impacted your finances.
3. Waiting Too Long to File
A personal injury lawsuit may not be a criminal investigation, but there’s still a statute of limitations on how long you can wait to file.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to file. The statute of limitations is only one reason why it’s best to file as soon as you can.
Once you file your case, you’re allowed to formally start gathering evidence. It’ll make it much easier to obtain police records and get official documentation from doctors.
Not waiting to file can also help with optics.
The quicker you file, the quicker the people involved in the case know that you’re serious about getting a fair settlement and moving through the court. It also shows the judge that you’re serious about your case.
4. Under-Estimating the Extent of Your Claim
You’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, so naturally, you focus on your medical bills and think only about recouping the medical side of the loss.
You may be filing a personal injury lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean that all of your injuries and damages are all physical.
Did you lose the ability to control or perform certain body functions? That can be extra damage that can be claimed in your lawsuit.
Are you feeling more depressed or anxious after your injury? Are your family members having a difficult time coping with everything? You may able to sue for emotional damages, too.
This is why it’s important to get proper legal representation when you’re filing a personal injury suit. You could be missing out on something important.
5. Taking the First Offer
Filing a personal injury suit can be a physically and emotionally exhausting ordeal. You can learn more about how long it can take for these cases to settle, but in some cases, people can fight for months or years on a single case.
When you hear that there’s an offer on the table you may feel compelled to jump on it but doing that could do more harm than good.
Personal injury lawsuits may not get resolved in one go and, in some cases, shouldn’t be.
Some people may put a very low offer on the table to begin with. There could be other evidence you can use that can make your case even stronger.
Remember, it’s okay to walk away from an offer if you don’t think it’s fair enough. You can go back a second or even third time to get something you think is fair.
6. Posting Too Much on Social Media
Social media has made it easy to see what friends and loved ones are doing. On the flip side, it has also made it easier for law enforcement and lawyers to keep tabs on people.
You claim that you’re in horrible pain, but then a lawyer sees you posting pictures of yourself out at a party smiling. You may have been posing for a photo and you may have left the party in pain, but that won’t matter to the judge.
Be careful about what you’re posting on social media and ask your friends to use their discretion too.
Get Legal Help Today
Filing a lawsuit can help you get the personal injury compensation you need to get your life back on track. But you’ll need a good lawyer to help your case.
If you have any questions about how to find legal representation, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can give you the personal injury help you need.
And remember, our blog is full of useful legal information. Browse our posts and expand your knowledge on the legal system.