If you get into a simple car crash where nobody was in the wrong, the proceedings after your accident will be relatively straightforward.
On the other hand, if you are injured and believe that another party was at fault, you will want to hire an accident attorney and file a personal injury claim. Sometimes, a victim will think that they can handle a case by themselves and that this choice will save money. Unfortunately, both of these assumptions are untrue.
Not only are personal injury claims too complicated for most people without legal training to understand, but trying to do so will actually cost them more in the long run. This is because they will likely make one of the mistakes below, and end up lowering or eliminating the compensation due. To avoid this tragic scenario, you should hire an accident attorney to keep you from making any of these crucial missteps.
Not Seeing a Doctor
After all car or motorcycle accidents, all of the parties involved should see a doctor. The first reason is that they will want to get their health in order. Seeing a doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan, and help you catch any ailments that you might have missed. The second reason for seeing a doctor is that it will give you an idea of how much compensation you should pursue. Your doctor will tell you what your initial medical bills will be, give you an estimate for future expenses, and tell you if you have physical limitations that will decrease your future wages. When you combine these three points, you get one step closer to deciding how much compensation you deserve. Hiring an accident attorney ensures that you don’t forget your medical exam.
Underestimating Your Injuries
Often, a victim will see a doctor, but choose to underestimate their injuries. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is trying to be “tough” and thinking a seemingly minor injury will go away. Unfortunately, damages that seem insignificant in the moment can grow into severe conditions. What this means is that if you undersell your injuries before reporting them to the opposing insurance company, your compensation offer will be smaller than it should be. Your attorney will help you avoid this by coaching before your medical assessment.
Embellishing Your Injuries
Sometimes, the victims of car and motorcycle accidents choose to embellish their injuries after a collision. In their mind, making their damages sound more severe than they really are will increase their benefits. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, people that lie about their injuries are usually caught, and when they are, they suffer. Either their level of compensation drops dramatically, or their personal injury claim is lost entirely. This is a critical area where a lawyer can help.
Wrongly Admitting Fault
Whether you are at the scene of the accident, an insurance negotiation, a deposition, or in court, you will frequently be asked questions about the crash. Often, some of those questions are meant to trap you into wrongly admitting fault. There are two things you can do about this. First, you can watch for these types of questions and either refuse to answer them, or do so in a way that does not place fault on you. The second way is by having your accident attorney with you for all questioning sessions. They will recognize these questions right away and advise you before you answer.
Not Gathering Evidence
Some people make the mistake of thinking that their word is enough to obtain benefits. What they find when they make their claim is that compensation is nearly impossible to receive if you don’t have evidence backing up your story and the nature of your injuries. What a lawyer can do is ensure that you gather every piece of evidence that you might need, and use them to argue your case.
Taking a Meager Settlement Offer
Though it is not in their best interest, victims frequently take settlement offers that are far below what they should get. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common are ignorance and fatigue. If you do not have legal training, there is a high chance that you don’t know what a fair settlement looks like. This could lead to you taking a bad deal. Additionally, you might grow tired of the proceedings surrounding your personal injury claim. This may make you accept a low offer just to get it over with. Not only will your lawyer know what a fair offer is, but they will do all of the legwork in your case and allow you to avoid all of the stress that comes with it.
Signing Certain Documents
If an insurance company offers you a document, you should never sign it without understanding it entirely. Sometimes, people get tricked into agreeing to terms because they cannot interpret documents effectively. Rather than take this on alone, you can have your lawyer go over those documents and make sure they are fair.
Making Poor Choices on Social Media
When you make a personal injury claim, the opposing party may investigate you. One portion of this process will be checking out your social media accounts. If anything you say or do on social media is not consistent with your claim, they will use it against you. One thing your lawyer will help you with is responsible social media usage.
Even if you understand these mistakes entirely, you may still make them. Personal injury claims are complicated and often involve a high level of stress. Despite your best efforts, it is possible that you will fall into one of these traps. The best way to ensure that this does not happen is hiring an excellent accident attorney. What they will do is be at your side throughout the entire process, and use their expertise to make sure you act exactly as you should. The result will be the compensation package you deserve.