5 Common Mistakes People Make in Personal Injury Cases

If you’re involved in a personal injury case, you need to follow a very specific set of rules in order to make sure your rights are protected. Unfortunately, many people succumb to costly mistakes that end up compromising the integrity of their claims.

Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

Personal injury cases can be complex. There are specific steps you need to take to protect your rights and maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

“When you or someone you love has suffered injuries because of another individual or business’ negligent actions, compensation, unfortunately, is not automatic,” Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa explains. “Instead, the burden is on the injured victim to prove the at-fault party’s negligence.”

Unfortunately, a lot of people make mistakes during the process that can end up hurting their case. Knowing these common pitfalls can help you avoid them and get the justice you deserve.

Mistake #1: Waiting Too Long to See a Doctor

Adrenaline is a powerful hormone. After an accident, it would be totally normal to feel shocked or numb. But don’t put off going to the doctor.

Waiting Too Long to See a Doctor

Even if you don’t feel serious pain right away, some injuries can take time to show symptoms. Getting checked out by a doctor right after the accident creates a clear record of your injuries and how they relate to the accident. This medical documentation is crucial evidence in your case.

If you’re hurt seriously, you should obviously go to the emergency room. However, even if you don’t think you’re hurt, a call to your primary care doctor for a quick appointment to check your overall health would be smart.

Mistake #2: Not Keeping Records of Everything

Imagine you trip and fall on a broken sidewalk, but you don’t take any pictures or write down the date and time. Fast forward a few weeks, and the sidewalk gets fixed. Now it’s your word against theirs about what caused your fall. This is why documenting everything is essential.

Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to your property. Keep copies of medical bills, receipts, and any communication you have with insurance companies. The more details you have, the stronger your case will be. Never assume something will be taken at face value in an injury claim. Remember that the other side has attorneys, too – and their legal team is going to put up a fight.

Mistake #3: Oversharing on Social Media

Social media can be a great way to connect with friends and family, but it can also be a trap after a personal injury. Those seemingly harmless posts about your accident or injuries could be used against you by the other side.

Oversharing on Social Media

For example, a seemingly positive post about “feeling better” might downplay the severity of your injuries. It’s best to avoid posting anything about your case online until it’s resolved. Log off and stay away.

Mistake #4: Going Solo Against the Insurance Company

Insurance companies are in the business of saving money, and that includes minimizing payouts on claims. They might try to downplay your injuries, offer a lowball settlement, or deny your claim altogether. Negotiating with them can be stressful and confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the legal process.

Going Solo Against the Insurance Company

An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to deal with insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve. They understand past case law, local regulations, and how similar cases have played out. They also know how to negotiate and avoid being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters.

Mistake #5: Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Insurance companies often make an initial settlement offer that’s much lower than what your case is actually worth. (Possibly worth 30 percent or less of the full value of the case.) They might be hoping you’re desperate for cash and will take whatever they offer. But don’t fall for this!

Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Before accepting any settlement, consult with a lawyer to understand the full value of your claim. This includes not just medical bills, but also lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term effects of your injury.

Putting it All Together

The great news is that you don’t have to do this by yourself. If you’re overwhelmed by all of the details and worried about whether or not you’re going to remember what to say or do, don’t be. The only thing you need to do is find a good attorney who can show you how to tackle each step along the way.

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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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