1. Failing to Get Immediate Medical Attention
After any type of serious traumatic accident, a medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment should be your first priority, advises Nolo. Procrastinating on getting a doctor’s opinion could not only could you jeopardize your health, but also jeopardize your chances at claiming financial recovery. Delaying treatment could give the insurance company an excuse to try to avoid liability, and might cost you the evidence you need to pursue a claim for compensation.
2. Failing to Gather Information at the Scene
Unless you are physically unable to do so as a result of your injuries, you should collect the following evidence before leaving the scene of the accident:
- Name, contact, and insurance information of anyone else involved in the accident;
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Any personal items damaged in the accident
As soon as possible, write down everything you remember about what happened. What direction were you traveling? How was the weather? What events surrounded the accident? What other details stand out to you?
- Not Seeking Legal Representation
LegalZoom warns that without a lawyer, you won’t know your case’s worth and you might not even understand your full legal rights! Making an informed decision about settling with the insurance companies will be confusing. And if insurance companies refuse to settle, you likely won’t be equipped to take the case further.
- Not Following Doctor’s Orders
It’s imperative that you follow your doctor’s advice – or seek a second opinion if you are concerned about your treatment plan or diagnosis. If you fail to follow your doctor’s advice (by returning to work when you should be resting, for example), this could be detrimental to your health and possibly your personal injury claim as well. Insurance companies may argue that you deserve less than full compensation if they see that you are aggravating your injuries, prolonging your own recovery, or acting in ways that imply that your injuries weren’t serious.
5. Attempting to Negotiate with Insurance Companies
When you file an accident claim with an insurance company, the insurance company’s priority is to settle your claim for as little as possible. Negotiating effectively with the insurance companies requires thorough knowledge of the law and significant experience in personal injury litigation – a task best left to a seasoned personal injury attorney.
6. Not Understanding the Full Impact of Your Injuries
When you are injured in a car crash, slip-and-fall, or other accident, the costs of your injuries can extend far beyond your medical bills. In order to understand what your case is worth, you first need to understand the full extent of your injury-related losses.
- You may need ongoing medical treatment and therapy for years to come
- You may be unable to work or need to pursue a different occupation
- You may suffer from chronic pain
- You may incur a variety of other financial and non-financial losses
An attorney can help you understand every factor that can support your claim to compensation.
7. Assuming You Were at Fault
Accident victims often fail to take legal action because they assume that they must have been to blame for their own injuries. Before you make any assumptions about your rights, it is critical that you speak with an attorney. Not only does establishing fault require a thorough assessment of the facts in light of the relevant laws; even if you were partially at fault you may still be entitled to a partial financial recovery.
8. Discussing Your Case on Social Media
When pursuing financial compensation after an accident, it is important not to discuss the case with anyone but your attorney. This means avoiding the topic with your neighbors and co-workers, and not posting anything about the accident on social media.
9. Settling Too Soon
Insurance companies will use a variety of tactics to try to get you to settle for less than you deserve, but an attorney can help you make informed decisions with a long-term perspective in order to secure the best results for yourself and your family.
10. Not Pursuing All Available Sources of Compensation
When seeking personal injury compensation, there are often multiple sources of compensation available. For example, in a car accident, while a negligent driver may be the obvious cause of the accident, there could be other factors such as a defective vehicle, company policies requiring the other drive to practice unsafe behavior, unsafe roadways, and more!
If you’ve been injured in an accident, why risk losing the compensation you deserve? Get legal guidance you can count on. Call (561) 508-8800 to get started or send us a message online.
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