If you have been hurt in an accident and file a personal injury claim, your actions can be subjected to intense scrutiny. The insurance company that you are seeking payment from may examine every aspect of your case, searching for any bit of information to justify a reduced settlement. The facts of the case will not always speak for themselves and your conduct can play a large role in the overall value of your claim. Below are five mistakes which can irrevocably hurt the value of your case.
- Sharing too much information: Do not admit guilt for any part of an accident, even if you believe that you may have been partly at fault. The less you say, the less room there is for the opposing side to misinterpret your words and use them against you. For example, many people are surprised to learn that saying an apologetic phrase like, “I’m sorry” may be used as evidence of guilt. Luckily, you do not have to deal with law enforcement or the insurance company alone. A knowledgeable attorney can represent and advise you in all communications relating to your claim.
- Misrepresenting an accident or an injury: Submitting false information to any party in your case can cause lasting damage to your credibility. No matter how powerful your evidence may be, your account of events may be called into question. A false account can also be accidental. For example, if you give a statement regarding your injuries before you see a doctor but your actual injuries differ, a claims adjuster may claim that you misrepresented your damages.
- Waiting to seek medical care: When an accident doesn’t appear to be serious, victims may put off getting medical treatment. Do not make this mistake. A prompt visit to the doctor can have several benefits. Not all symptoms are immediately apparent and only a doctor can diagnose the extent of your injuries. Additionally, the insurance company may use delayed medical evaluations as evidence that your injuries are not a severe as you claim.
- Missing a doctor’s appointment: In the same way that delaying medical care can be detrimental, missing a scheduled appointment can hurt your claim. Diverting from a recommended treatment in any way may open a victim up to claims of shared responsibility for injuries. If an appointment was not missed, a claims adjuster may argue, your injuries would stand a better chance of healing. For this reason, it is also a good idea to keep accurate records of all your doctor’s appointments, what was discussed, and the reasons for a rescheduling or cancellation.
- Accepting a settlement too soon: Experiencing an injury can derail your life. With medical bills piling up and reduced income from missed work, it can be tempting to agree to the first settlement offered by an insurance company. You may have only one chance to claim compensation and accepting a settlement to early can leave needed funds on the table. Claims adjusters are often skilled negotiators and can make offers anticipating that negotiations are likely to occur. Do not attempt to deal with an adjuster without a skilled attorney in your corner.
DON’T PAY FOR THE NEGLIGENCE OF OTHERS – CALL (585) 270-8882
The personal injury claims process can be complicated. While the list above can help a claimant to avoid common pitfalls, it is far from a complete roadmap. If you have been involved in an accident due to the negligent actions of another person, King Law can help you to overcome the legal disputes you may face. The firm’s lead Rochester personal injury attorney possesses substantial experience fighting for accident victims and can help you to secure the settlement you deserve.
Request your free case evaluation to learn about your options for seeking justice.