When you are going through the personal injury claims process, your actions will be put under a magnifying glass. The opposing attorneys and insurance companies will be watching for any information they may use against you. The reality is that the insurance company is a business that must keep an eye on profits and as such may look for ways to reduce or limit your claim. Individuals may not initially realize that the actions they take both in and out of the public eye can irrevocably damage their case. Below, our blog covers five things you should avoid during the personal injury claims process.
Five common personal injury claim mistakes include:
- Oversharing: From your interactions with law enforcement to any conversations with the at-fault party, be mindful of what you say and do not admit guilt for an accident. While it can be helpful to remain polite, do not say more than you need to. Do not openly discuss the accident with the other driver or their insurance company. The only parties who should be fully informed about the details of an accident are you and your attorney.
- Taking the first settlement: We understand that experiencing an accident can be tremendously stressful. When medical bills are piling up and you have lost wages due to missed work, it can be tempting to accept what may seem like a fair offer. Claims adjusters are skilled negotiators and often make initial offers under the assumption that negotiations are likely to occur. Do not accept a settlement before consulting with an attorney. An experienced lawyer can deal with adjusters on your behalf to see that your claim is treated fairly and you receive the compensation that you deserve.
- Delaying a trip to the doctor: Accident victims can make the mistake of thinking they do not need to see a doctor if they are not seriously or immediately injured. The truth is that not all symptoms will show right away and you could be seriously injured even if you do not realize it. Additionally, establishing a medical paper trail early on can supply powerful evidence towards your claim. Delaying a visit to the doctor may also be used as evidence that your accident was not actually that serious. If you are involved in any accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Exaggerated statements: The fastest way to lose credibility in your claim is to misrepresent events. If it is discovered that you presented false information, any evidence or testimony you give may be suspect. However, victims may not always be aware that what they say may be misconstrued and used against them. For example, if you give a preliminary or a casual description of your injuries to an adjuster before consulting with a doctor and your actual injuries differ, the adjuster may claim that you misrepresented your damages. Always consult with your attorney before providing any party with a statement.
- Using social media: While most people will agree that self-incrimination should be avoided, general day-to-day updates may also hurt your claim. For example, if you list injuries to your legs which prevent you from working but you post an image of you with your family at the park, you may open yourself up to intense scrutiny about the nature of your injuries. Furthermore, most of the information posted on social media is publically available and can be viewed by your opponents. Setting your accounts to private can help, however, it may be best to avoid using any social media platform altogether while you are involved in the claims process.
Have You Been Injured? Call (414) 272-5564
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, the actions you take following an accident can have a substantial effect on the outcome of your claim. At Casey Law Offices, S.C., we can guide you through each step of the personal injury claims process, from negotiating a claim to pursuing litigation should it become necessary. Our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys possess more than two decades of trial-tested experience and can help you to claim the compensation that you deserve.
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