As the name implies, personal injury is any type of physical injury that an individual might suffer. Most of us will think of car accidents, but this can also include things such as slipping on ice, falling off a ladder, and so on.
A successful personal injury lawsuit can help the claimant recover from the consequences. While nothing can repair broken bones, winning a lawsuit can cover medical costs and the financial losses incurred due to the inability to work. Furthermore, it can provide personal satisfaction.
According to the Barnes Firm injury attorneys, unfortunately, people tend to make various mistakes during the process. Whether it's a procedural blunder, lack of evidence, or signing something you shouldn't, claimants often undermine their case. To understand what to do and what to avoid, here are 5 mistakes you should never make in a personal injury lawsuit.
1. Taking Proper Medical Measures
A person who has suffered a serious physical injury would immediately seek medical assistance in a normal situation. If you don't visit a doctor as soon as possible, this indicates that your issue wasn't as severe as you make it to be.
Besides immediately visiting a professional, you will also need proof that can be used when seeking compensation. Insurance companies often dispute injuries if you don't have proof or if you wait for too long.
Furthermore, a claimant should abide by every doctor's advice. You need to attend all the appointments and take prescribed medication. A person needs to show that they’re doing everything in their power to get better. Make sure to keep all the prescriptions, casts, pill bottles, and other items that you got during therapy.
2. Gather All Evidence Pertaining To The Injury
One of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits has to do with traffic accidents. If a careless driver hits you, it is crucial to take photos of the scene. Besides the license plate, you should document the damage on both cars. Additionally, you need to take photos of the surrounding environment, road, barriers, and signs. This can provide additional information about the state of the road and the traffic conditions.
If there were any witnesses, take their names, numbers, and statements. Sometimes, an injury will occur on another person's property. This can happen due to a hole in the ground, faulty installation, or something else. No matter the case, make sure to take photos of the area where the accident occurred. If there were security cameras nearby, you should ask for the footage. They should provide sufficient information for the judge to assess what actually happened.
3. Choosing The Right Legal Representative
Often, the main issue is the choice of lawyer. Keep in mind that every legal field is different, and you need to find a professional that specializes in personal injury lawsuits. Not only will this increase your odds of winning, but it will also make the whole process that much easier.
When you hire a lawyer, you have full rights to ask whatever interests you. In fact, you need to know everything about your rights, obligations, and the necessary steps that will help you win the lawsuit. Of course, if you think that the current lawyer is not working in your best interest, you need to find someone who will.
4. Don’t Forget That You’re Under Investigation
Occasionally, people lose lawsuits because they divulge sensitive information to the wrong person. You should especially be wary of the defendant's insurance company, lawyer, or anyone else close to them. If one of these individuals contacts you, divert them to your lawyer.
Everything that happened during the accident will quickly become public. People will ask you all sorts of questions, and some of them might be very absurd or provocative. Most of these situations can and should be handled by your lawyer. If you decide to attend one of these meetings, your legal representative should lead the discussion.
5. Avoid Discussing Your Case On Social Media
Nowadays, people spend a lot of time on social media. Among others, they use it to keep their family and friends in the loop. After suffering a debilitating injury, the last thing you want to do is disclose sensitive details. It is ok to tell them if you end up in a hospital or to tell them you're ok. However, posting photos from the accident or other evidence can cause various issues. It will also demonstrate that you're irresponsible.