Seven Mistakes to Avoid in Your Personal Injury Case
Pursuing a personal injury claim after an accident can seem like a daunting undertaking. While hiring an experienced Tifton injury lawyer can take much of the burden of navigating the claims process off your shoulders, you still must help your case along by avoiding mistakes that could inadvertently sabotage or weaken your claim. Some of the most common mistakes personal injury plaintiffs make include:
It is a natural human impulse to apologize after an accident — even if the accident was not your fault. While this may be the polite thing to do, it can harm your personal injury claim. The defense can use your statements to attempt to establish negligence on your part, thereby reducing the amount you can recover (or barring your claim completely).
Not Collecting Enough Evidence
Try to collect as much evidence as you can after an accident. For a car accident, this could photographs, videos, the names and contact information of witnesses, witness statements, insurance information, and license plate numbers. For a slip and fall accident, it could include the name and contact information of the property owner. The more information you collect at the time of the accident, the more evidence you have to prove your case.
Not Seeking Medical Treatment or Not Following Your Doctors’ Orders
Seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible after an accident and document your treatment process. Also, follow your doctors’ orders as diligently as you can. The defense can use your failure to seek medical treatment or follow your doctors’ orders as evidence that your injuries are at least partially your fault.
Speaking to Anyone Other Than Your Lawyer About Your Claim
You generally should avoid speaking to anyone about your personal injury claim without your attorney being present, especially your or the defendant’s insurance company. While you may think a particular statement is harmless, the defense can often find a way to use it against you. You should also keep a low profile on social media during your personal injury claim, as certain status updates and photos can undermine your claim.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer You Receive
The defendant (and his or her insurance provider) will want to settle your claim as quickly, cheaply, and quietly as possible. As a result, insurance companies typically make initial settlement offers for much lower than the plaintiff’s claim is worth. Do not accept the first settlement offer you receive, as you likely will be able to obtain a better offer by negotiating with your attorney.
Waiting Too Long to File
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Georgia is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim or you forfeit your right to do so.
Not Hiring a Tifton Injury Lawyer
Failing to hire an experienced personal injury attorney is one of the worst mistakes personal injury plaintiffs can make. If you have suffered an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you should consider speaking to an attorney as soon as possible to maximize your chances of success in obtaining compensation. To get started, please contact a Tifton injury lawyer at the Hudson Injury Firm by calling 229-396-5848 or using our online form.