If you were seriously injured in a sudden accident, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Do I have grounds for a personal injury claim? What kinds of damages can I pursue? What can I do to strengthen my case?
The easiest way to get the answers you seek is to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can review your case in a free consultation and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed. Your lawyer can also explain the mistakes you should avoid throughout the proceedings to give your claim the best possible chance of success.
Below we’ve listed a few common mistakes that could derail a personal injury claim:
1. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
Any statements you provide to the insurer may be used to dispute your claim. Even if you don’t admit fault for the accident, there are all sorts of ways a seemingly benign statement could bring liability, causation, or the severity of your injuries into question.
For example, if you tell the claims adjuster that you have returned to work or physical activities, they might assert that your injuries aren’t very serious or that you have failed to follow your doctor’s orders. If you say that the accident exacerbated a preexisting medical condition, you might face a dispute over causation.
To protect your claim, it is best to let your attorney handle all correspondence with the insurer from day one. Your lawyer will know what to say—and what not to say—to avoid and mitigate disputes.
2. Posting About the Incident on Social Media
It has become standard practice for insurance adjusters to monitor the social media activity of claimants. If you post any photos of you taken after the accident—for instance, a picture of you having lunch with friends—it might be used to assert that your injuries are only minor, or that you are not taking your medical recovery seriously. If you write a description of the accident, it might be used to argue that you were partially or entirely liable.
It is best to disable your social media accounts while the claim is pending. If this is not an option, you should update your privacy settings and decline any new connection requests. Also, instruct your friends and family not to tag you in any posts or publish photos of you until the claim has been resolved.
3. Putting off Your Medical Evaluation
If you wait several days or weeks to seek medical care, the insurance company might assert that you have failed to mitigate the damages. This could lead to a reduction in your financial recovery.
4. Failing to Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Disobeying your doctor’s orders could also lead to a dispute over the mitigation of damages. For example, returning to physical activities or work too early could exacerbate your injury or extend your recovery time, thus increasing your damages. The insurer may assert that since your own negligence has caused your damages to increase, you should not be compensated for 100 percent of your losses.
Call (605) 250-1242 to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in Rapid City
With more than 100 years of collective legal experience, the attorneys at Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC know what it takes to win substantial settlements and verdicts in personal injury cases. We can help you avoid critical mistakes, approximate a fair settlement figure, and fight for the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, send us a message or call (605) 250-1242.