After getting injured in a car wreck or other incident due to someone else’s negligence, you’ll need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company in order to be reimbursed for your medical expenses, lost wages, and subsequent pain and suffering. The true cost of your injury, when you add everything up, may be more than you think.
Unfortunately, many factors work against you when pursuing a personal injury claim.
- Insurance companies will try to get you to admit some degree of fault and often offer you much less than you really deserve.
- Legal deadlines may sneak up on you, and you may miss important steps that could have negative impacts on your claim.
You need to play your cards right, but the rules are very complicated in this card game. Here are three common mistakes that people like you make when handling a personal injury claim.
Waiting too long to get medical attention.
Many of us just don’t like going to the doctor. Let’s face it, it’s a hassle. Also, we don’t want to admit that we have injuries and pain, so we often just shrug it off. However, getting medical attention is essential for two reasons:
- You need to take care of yourself. Only a medical professional can tell you how seriously you’re injured. Ignoring a serious injury can lead to long-term, chronic pain and medical problems. Insurance companies (and juries) also want to know that you’re trying to get better.
- Medical documentation is important for your claim. Proof of your treatment and recovery helps make your case for compensation. Waiting too long can send signals that you’re not really that injured, and you don’t want something serious to come up after you’ve closed your claim.
Get medical attention immediately, then go to all follow-up appointments and do what your doctor says (like taking medication or seeing a specialist).
Exaggerating your injuries.
Personal injury claims go through a detailed process for a reason. If an insurance company is going to pay you a significant amount of money to compensate you for your injury, then you’ll need solid proof that your injuries warrant a significant settlement. You may have seen TV shows where people exaggerate the severity of their injuries in order to fool an insurance company or jury, but that won’t work in the real world.
Insurance companies and their attorneys will look carefully at the details of your claim. You’ll be asked many questions, and your answers must be consistent and true. These professionals have seen it all—and they will likely see through anything that appears exaggerated or unusual. Tell the truth, even if you think it might hurt your claim. Not telling the truth will always do more damage to your claim.
Attempting to handle your own personal injury claim.
Hopefully by now you’re starting to understand that personal injury claims can be very complex. You need to get better, deal with the emotional aspects of your injury, collect information, meet deadlines, and negotiate with insurance companies. That’s a lot to handle on your own. Without legal help, the odds are stacked against you.
Don’t risk making critical injury claim mistakes that will hurt your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to handle personal injury claims. This is not a do-it-yourself project.
Contact an experienced attorney at Litner + Deganian
By avoiding these three common injury claim mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of success with your personal injury claim. See your doctor, tell the truth, and hire an attorney to help you with this complex process. Contact a Litner + Deganian attorney today (or tonight) for a free consultation.