Common Mistakes To Avoid When Dealing With A Personal Injury Case
Accidents and injuries can occur when you least expect them, and the consequences of these injuries can be life-changing. Often, injured people find themselves forced to miss work, losing out on money to support their families, and dealing with a range of additional issues, from stress and anxiety to the worries of medical costs.
This is where a personal injury lawyer can help. Qualified and experienced in personal injury cases, these lawyers can help you take positive action and make progress to help get your life back on track, as well as helping you claim for compensation or assistance to make up for medical expenses, lost income, property damage, or unnecessary pain and suffering you may be experiencing.
It's absolutely worth contacting a personal injury lawyer if you've been injured. Statistics and surveys show that 7 in 10 clients receive some form of settlement or award for their personal injury claims, with payouts ranging from $3,000 up to $75,000 or more, for an average payout of close to $53,000.
Still, despite these encouraging statistics, there are ways for personal injury cases to get derailed and reduce your chances of getting a positive outcome and a satisfying settlement. Often, due to inexperience or other reasons, personal injury clients can actually harm their own cases and make mistakes along the way. Here are some of the top mistakes to avoid.
Talking Too Much
If you've been injured, it's only natural for you to feel that you have nothing to hide and it's up to the defendant to defend themselves. However, you can't get too comfortable. From the moment you hire an attorney and commence legal proceedings, you'll be under investigation too and the defendant's legal team will be looking for anything they can find to identify holes in your story or weaknesses in your case.
For these reasons, you should keep your discussion regarding the case to an absolute minimum, except when talking directly with your attorney. There's no need for you to speak with the defense lawyer, the defendant, their insurance provider, or anyone else apart from your own lawyer.
Being Too Active On Social Media
Many people make use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter every single day, sharing personal stories and updates from their lives. But when it comes to personal injury cases, these sites can actually be your undoing if you happen to post the wrong thing or share a piece of information the opposition can use against you.
As stated above, the defendant's team will look for anything they can to use against you, which could include pictures or posts you share online. Even if your profile is set to private, there are ways for them to gain access to that data, and even the simplest thing, like a photo of you standing outside, could be used as some kind of evidence to show that your injury isn't as severe as you claim.
Assuming It Will Go To Court
In the vast majority of cases, personal injury cases won't actually end up going to court. So if you're worried or anxious about juries, judges, and trials, you really shouldn't be. It's much more likely that your case will be settled out of court and never need to go to trial.
Why does this happen? Well, there are various reasons. One of the main ones is money. Litigation and trials can be incredibly expensive, and most of the time, both parties prefer to avoid the added expenses. It also saves a lot of time to settle out of court, as well as reducing the workload on the attorneys involved and avoiding extra stress for the plaintiffs and defendants.
Ignoring Medical Advice
If ever you get injured, the absolute first thing to do is to seek medical treatment for any aches, pains, or issues you may be experiencing. But as well as receiving that initial treatment, you also need to make sure you listen to your doctor and follow whatever medical advice they recommend during your recovery period. If they tell you to stay home and rest, that's what you need to do.
If they tell you to avoid sports, exercise, and heavy lifting, for example, you have to stick to those instructions. Ignoring medical advice doesn't just put your body at risk of further injury, it may also jeopardize your case, as it could be used by the opposition to show that you aren't taking your injury seriously and it isn't affecting you as severely as believed.
Forgetting To Document
Getting injured is stressful and panic-inducing, and it's only logical that many people don't quite know what to do upon being injured and may not be able to think clearly or focus as they usually would. However, you have to do all you can to stay focused and follow the proper procedure, as anything you miss in those early hours after an injury could come back to negatively affect you later on.
After an injury, you should make sure to document everything. This should include taking photos or asking someone you know to take photos of the injury site and any physical signs of injury on your body. Photos and videos can also be taken during the recovery period to show the difficulties you may be experiencing because of the injury, and any property damage should be documented too, and shared with your lawyer to strengthen your case.
Mistakes can happen, especially in the wake of a traumatic personal injury when you're not quite thinking clearly or don't have much or any experience in dealing with legal systems and attorneys. However, if you want your case to proceed smoothly and simply, with the best possible chance of success, you have to pay attention to these possible mistakes and do all you can to avoid them.
Remember that the most important parts of dealing with an injury are getting the medication you need, following the doctor's advice, and finding a lawyer you can depend on.