There is a widely held assumption that almost nothing can ruin a personal injury case. This is false information and it brings grievous consequences with it. Then again, that being said, there's an obvious follow-up question to ask: what does ruin a personal injury case? More often than not, the answer comes down to y-o-u.
The Role Of Client Error In Personal Injury Cases
Most of us hope never to be in any kind of serious accident, but more than likely, the post-accident reality will color our lives in one shade or another. It is always best to be prepared so that you don't make mistakes and suffer the negative fallout.
Here are five rookie mistakes people make following an accident:
- Failing to report the accident to the police. People can make all sorts of promises on-scene. They tell you that they will file paperwork, exchange insurance information, or even cover the damage out of their own pocket. All of these promises sound fine; the problem is you have no way of holding anyone to their word. Circumstances and tunes can quickly change when they leave the scene. Without a police report and an objective third party assessment, you run the risk of "holding the bag" completely on your own.
- Not promptly reporting an incident to business owners or managers. If you get hurt on someone else's property or on the job, you need to tell them right away. Failure to do so can make your claim look weak, even fabricated, down the line.
- Not collecting evidence on-scene. This goes toward burden of proof. You need to be able to present evidence that supports your version of the events. The stronger you can make your case, the better your compensation. In the confusion following an accident, people forget about their greatest ally: the camera on their cellphone. Pictures taken of the scene, another driver's insurance information, and other documentation can help you build a solid case later.
- Not seeking immediate medical attention. This decision is not only a risk to your case, but it's also a risk to your health. No matter how minor your injuries may seem, get them checked out ASAP. Don't take the risk.
- Trusting claims adjusters with your case. Insurance companies are not looking out for your best interest. Their job is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. Getting the compensation you deserve means hiring an experienced lawyer – no exceptions.
Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer
It's critical you follow these five pieces of advice if you are in an accident. It's also important you consult an experienced, reputable personal injury lawyer. Contact Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas, if you have questions about your personal injury case.