3 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes To Avoid

Law Blog

Putting together an injury claim is a process, and that means there are a lot of potential little issues that can create big trouble. Even if you've hired a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests, it's wise to keep an eye on the things that can wrong. Here are three mistakes every personal injury attorney will tell you to watch out for.

Not Getting Immediate Medical Care

Arguably, this is the biggest mistake on this list. The reason is that if there's a gap between the time of an accident and when you get medical attention, an insurance company may say something could have happened in the meantime.

If you are offered medical care on the spot, perhaps by an EMT, accept it. Even if you think, for example, that you just have a sprained ankle, it's best to go to the hospital or a clinic ASAP. Have the injury checked out by a doctor or nurse practitioner so whatever might be wrong will be fully documented. The X-ray you get today could make or break your case down the road.

Filing or Negotiating Without Legal Counsel

An insurance company hires a pro, the claims adjuster, to handle the case, and you have every right to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer from the first day too. Your attorney can handle the basic components of filing a claim, such as gathering reports from doctors and police officers, talking with medical experts, and putting together the paperwork. A lot of this work is boring stuff, but it's critical to get every comma and period right when you file.

If the claims adjuster makes a settlement offer, a personal injury attorney can help you determine if you ought to take it. While the choice is always yours, a lawyer can provide you with a recommendation based on experience helping others who had similar claims.

Waiting Too Long to File

Most jurisdictions in the U.S. allow potential claimants between two and three years after an incident to file. If you exceed this statutory limit, you will lose your right to seek compensation.

Note that the case doesn't have to be settled within that time. The statute of limitations only requires you to send formal notice to the defendant and, if they have one, their insurance company. This document will clearly state why you believe you are entitled to compensation and how much you deserve.


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