Being involved in an incident that causes injury to you or someone you love can be frightening, but keeping calm and making sure your rights are fully protected is vital. The most common types of personal injury claims are traffic accidents, followed by accidents at work, tripping accidents, and assault claims. In Arizona, the vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. This is because it’s easier, faster, less expensive, and less risky for both parties.
However, it’s important that you don’t do anything to damage your claim before the case is settled or goes through the court. Personal injury payouts are based on a determination of who is liable for the incident, so be sure to avoid these four common mistakes.
Declining Medical Treatment for Injuries
When you decline medical treatment for injuries, you run a couple of major risks. The first is that you are injured, but you don’t realize it. Maybe you won’t realize it for quite some time. Because there is a limit on how long you have to file a case, you could impact your ability to collect damages.
Second, declining medical treatment can undermine your ability to quantify your personal injury, making it harder to put a dollar amount on your claim. In addition, declining medical treatment can be used by the defendant as an indication that you weren’t actually injured.
Providing a Recorded Statement Without Legal Counsel
Anything you say can be used against you in a personal injury case. If you provide a recorded statement about the accident without your lawyer present, you could say things that would damage your ability to collect on your case. You will be asked very specific probing questions, and your recorded answers are permissible in court. Never give a recorded statement without your lawyer present.
In addition, never say things at the scene of an accident or afterward like “Oh, it was just an accident.” It’s human nature to want others to feel better and to not want anyone angry, especially in a crisis situation. But saying “It’s no big deal,” or “It was really no one’s fault,” may be used against you in your personal injury case.
Sharing Details About the Case on Social Media
In our digital world, we tend to share everything online. We show off what we work on, we take pictures of food, and we talk about our children. However, it’s very important not to share anything about the case – or the accident, even – on social media. If you say something on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else, that becomes a statement that is admissible in court.
It’s common to be angry and defensive after an accident. It’s also common to be dismissive and try to reassure everyone that all is well. Either way, what you say online affects your personal injury case – in the United States and elsewhere.
Assuming Insurance Adjusters are on Your Side
You want to believe that your insurance company is on your side, but unfortunately in personal injury cases, everyone is out for themselves. The adjuster works for the insurance company, and is looking to get the very best outcome for the insurance company. They will often pressure you to sign settlement documents quickly, before you can talk to a lawyer.
Instead, take your time. Don’t assume the insurance company has your best interests at heart, and focus on protecting yourself. Go over all offers with a lawyer, and make sure the compensation is appropriate to your injury, ongoing pain, and any future needs you may have.
Dealing with personal injury is difficult, and it’s easy to make one of these four mistakes. Unfortunately, they can significantly damage your ability to collect on your personal injury claim. By avoiding these mistakes, you protect yourself and your family.
If you would like to learn more about personal injury claims, or would like a consultation on a personal injury case, I’m here to help. Call me at 602-212-0202 today. I’ll make sure you get the compensation you deserve.