When you get injured in an accident, the last thing you want to deal with are the formalities involving personal injury claims. However, in order to file a valid and successful claim, there are a series of steps that need to be taken. Even more, it is important to avoid making the most common mistakes that individuals make while pursuing a personal injury claim. Sometimes, these mistakes mean little to no compensation. Below is a list of mistakes that you should avoid when filing an injury claim.
1. Not involving the police – If you are in a car accident, the very first thing you should do after checking yourself for injuries is to call the police. By doing this, a formal investigation is put in place. If you decide to file a personal injury claim later, you will need the officer’s investigation results to prove fault. If an officer was not contacted and thus did not issue a citation, you will have a very difficult time making a case against the other driver.
2. Failing to gather witness contact information – At the scene of an accident, it is vitally important to get the contact information from any witnesses that saw the accident. While you have the chance at the scene of the accident, approach witnesses and collect their telephone numbers at the least. By having their contact information, they can be contacted later to corroborate your claims against the other driver. Without witness testimonies, insurance companies will likely deny your claim, leaving you with no compensation for your injuries.
3. Giving recorded statements without legal counsel – If you give a statement to an insurance adjuster without the guidance of an attorney, there could be serious repercussions. You may inadvertently state that you were not injured that badly or that you admit guilt. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions that will lead you to answer in a way that undermines the value of your case. Never speak to an insurance adjuster without an attorney present.
4. Not repairing property damage – If an insurance company sends you a check to repair your vehicle, get it repaired – do not use for anything else, even though it may be tempting. In some cases, if you do not get your vehicle fixed, an insurance company can argue that you were not badly hurt, therefore giving you little to no money for your injury claim.
5. Signing releases – After an accident, sometimes injured victims will think they are signing releases for property damage, when instead they sign general releases. If this happens, the injured victim is releasing the injury claim and it will not be possible to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Never sign anything without first consulting with an attorney.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at Bighorn Law. The attorneys at Bighorn Law specialize in personal injury cases and know how to get you the compensation, and justice, you deserve.