If you’re injured in an accident, what should you avoid doing to help ensure a fair resolution of the issues that such an incident can raise? When you make mistakes after an injury accident, you can lose valuable time and compensation that could otherwise be recovered.
You may wish to consider hiring a personal injury attorney, who understands the law and precedent in these areas to help you fight for a fair settlement with insurance companies. Here are some common mistakes people make.
1. Trying to “Wait and See” if Your Injuries Are Serious
Insurance companies can deny your personal injury claim if you wait too long to go to a doctor for medical treatment after an accident. Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, that could be from the adrenaline suppressing any pain you might feel. You should get a thorough medical examination within the next day or two to determine if you suffered any injuries in the accident.
Insurers want to see that patients get an early diagnosis and follow a doctor’s instructions to mitigate damages. This means that if you fail to follow a doctor’s instructions or wait too long to see a doctor, insurers can use this against you in your personal injury claim.
2. Missing an Insurance or Court Deadline
Many insurance policies have specific deadlines for filing and submitting a claim. Additionally, if you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit in court, you have a statute of limitations to file from the date of the accident and if you do not file by this deadline, your claim can be entirely barred.
Filing your claim late with the insurance company increases the risk of denial, while the court will probably throw your case out if you file your case after the statute of limitations.
3. Speaking to a Claims Adjuster Without Your Lawyer Present
Insurance companies are often beholden to their stakeholders before their policyholders. Their claims adjusters and other representatives are looking for reasons to deny or devalue claims. Asking for a recorded statement, asking open-ended questions, and other tactics help them use your statements against you in your claim. Anything you misspeak can potentially undermine your position with the insurance company.
When you retain a personal injury attorney to represent you, your attorney can speak with representatives from the insurance company on your behalf so you don’t accidentally incriminate yourself in a statement. And, if you are required to give a statement, your attorney can be present to assist you with such statement and ensure the truth comes out.
4. Failing to Retain Essential Documents for Your Claim
You need to keep track of medical records, doctor recommendations, treatments, travel expenses for appointments, and pay stubs, as well as any other information about costs incurred due to your injuries. These documents help to prove one of the necessary elements of negligence in court if you need to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries.
Your losses can guide your attorney in calculating the value of your claim for fair compensation. If you don’t know how much your claim is worth, how will you know if the insurance company’s offer is appropriate?
5. Accepting a Settlement Offer Without Consulting a Personal Injury Attorney
Insurance companies often write their first offer early before you’ve had a chance to determine the extent of your injuries or if you need additional treatment. Cashing or depositing a check from the insurance company tells them that you’ve accepted their offer, and they can close your claim. Always consult an attorney about a settlement offer before accepting it.
Contact a Texas Personal Injury Law Firm
When you need a personal injury attorney for an accident in Texas, turn to the experienced legal team at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. We have two offices in Texas, located in Lubbock and Odessa. Call us today at 432-335-0399 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.