A successful personal injury case requires you to follow certain guidelines and do’s. These are vital to protecting your rights and ensuring that you receive a fair settlement.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will allow you to obtain an evaluation of your injuries, which is necessary for your claim.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
An insurance adjuster will try to get you to agree to give a recorded statement in your case. They might claim that you’re required to do this by law or that you won’t be able to settle your case without one. This is a lie and it is never a good idea to give a recorded statement to an insurance company.
If you give a recorded statement, the insurance company will likely use it against you in your case. This is because the insurance company’s goal is to save money. They will do everything they can to deny or undervalue your claim. They will try to take advantage of your inexperience by asking you questions that seem harmless, but could have a negative impact on your claim.
Insurance adjusters will also look for inconsistencies between your recorded statement and any evidence you might provide in court. During cross-examination, an insurance company lawyer will be looking for these inconsistencies to twist your words against you. The best way to avoid this is by not discussing anything related to your accident with anyone, including family members and friends. Rumors can quickly spread and you don’t want your statements to be used against you later on.
You should also not discuss your accident with anyone outside of your attorney, especially on social media. Even if your accident is not a big deal and you’re sure that you will recover, it is important to wait until after your case is settled before you post anything about your injuries on social media.
If an insurance adjuster calls and says that you must give a recorded statement, politely decline and ask them to call back at a later time when it is more convenient for you. It’s best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before speaking with any insurance company. Your attorney will ensure that the insurance company understands the extent of your injuries and how they will affect you in the future. This will allow you to make a more informed decision regarding your claim.
Don’t Accept a Settlement Offer
When you file a personal injury claim, it is important to understand that the insurance company’s goal is to settle your claim quickly and for less than your injuries deserve. You should never accept a settlement offer without consulting an experienced personal injury attorney first. They can evaluate the value of your claim and ensure that the settlement account for future medical expenses, ongoing pain and suffering, and other damages.
It is important to provide as much documentation as possible to your attorney. This includes receipts, X-rays, doctor’s statements, photos of your injuries, and other evidence that proves the severity of your losses. This will help the insurance company see that your injury was severe and that you are entitled to fair compensation.
If you feel that the insurance company has not offered a reasonable amount for your claim, do not be afraid to fight back. It is a common practice for insurance companies to low-ball injury victims in order to save money on their insurance premiums.
It also may not be in your best interests to take your case to trial, unless the insurance company has not offered you a reasonable settlement offer. Jurors typically don’t like plaintiffs and they will not be inclined to award you tons of money for your injuries (think about all those ambulance chaser jokes). It is often more cost-effective to settle disputed claims than it is to pay a jury a large sum of money.
In many cases, the insurance company will be willing to negotiate a higher settlement offer for your claim. You should not accept a settlement offer until your doctor releases you from treatment and has issued a permanent impairment rating, which will increase the value of your claim. Then, your attorney can review the settlement offer and negotiate for a fair amount of compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Dickman Law today for a free consultation and get the help you deserve. We only get paid when we win your case. Our fee is a percentage of your final award or settlement.
Don’t Admit Fault
In a car accident, it can be hard to determine exactly what happened. This is especially true when the crash was caused by a medical emergency, loss of consciousness or other factors outside of your control. This is why it is important to keep calm and document everything as best you can.
However, if you’re in any doubt about how the crash occurred, it is best not to admit fault or even partial fault for the accident. This could limit your ability to recover the compensation you need to cover expenses such as medical bills, repairs, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Admitting fault to an insurance company may seem like a quick way to get things moving. However, it can do a lot of damage to your case. Insurance companies will use your admission of fault to justify reducing or even denying your claim. It will also make it easier for them to allocate more fault to you than is deserved in the accident.
Besides admitting fault, you should never discuss the circumstances of an accident with other people or even the other parties involved in the incident. This includes discussing what you did or didn’t do to cause the accident, what you saw and heard at the scene and so on. This information can be used to undermine your credibility and weaken your claim.
The other party’s insurance company will be on the lookout for any information that contradicts your account of how the crash happened. This can include statements or even a simple social media post. It is a good idea to stop using social media until your case is resolved.
It is also important to follow all the advice and instructions of your attorney, including attending any meetings or discussions related to your case and providing all relevant documents. Failure to do so could lead to a loss of valuable evidence and a denial of your claim. Taking shortcuts in personal injury claims rarely ends well. It is always better to do things the right way from the start to increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company
Unless you are instructed to do so by your personal injury lawyer, it is best to avoid talking to the insurance company about your claim. The insurance representative is paid and directed to settle the case for the least amount possible, so anything you say can be used against you. They will try to trick you into saying things that could discredit your claims or give them ammunition to deny or lowball your compensation.
The insurance representative may ask questions that seem friendly and cooperative, but they are attempting to get you to divulge information they can use against your claim. This will likely include asking about your medical treatment, which you should only disclose to your doctor. It will also include asking about your past experiences and other activities, which can be used to claim that you contributed to the accident by not being careful or paying attention.
If the insurance representative tries to record your statement, be polite and refuse to consent to it. You can always say you are unable to give a statement at this time and that you will speak with your attorney first. This can also be an effective way to end the conversation before the insurance representative tries to manipulate you.
You should never discuss your active personal injury case with anyone, including family and friends, except for your attorney. This can be used as evidence that you did not take the accident seriously, which will diminish your settlement. It is also a good idea to refrain from discussing the details of your accident on social media, as this can be monitored and used against you.
Do not forget to photograph the scene of the accident and your injuries if it is safe to do so, as well as keeping track of all medical appointments and out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries. You should also keep a diary of the incident and its immediate aftermath. Lastly, be patient. Depending on your case, it can take months or even years for your claim to be resolved.