If you have never been involved in an accident before or filed a personal injury claim, you may find yourself feeling confused about what you should and shouldn’t do during this process.
For example, if you have been in a car accident, bicycle accident, bus accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, truck accident, or even a slip and fall accident, you likely have a personal injury case on your hands, which means you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, if you do decide to pursue compensation, you must remember that there are certain things you should avoid during the claims process. Here are seven major things that you must avoid during a personal injury claim.
1. Not speaking to or hiring an attorney
In order to avoid attorney fees, many people think that they can handle their personal injury claim on their own. However, personal injury cases can be extremely overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting, especially when you are also healing and recovering from your injuries. Speaking to and hiring an attorney for your accident case could be one of the best decisions you may make for your legal claim.
Your attorney will guide you through the entire legal process, answer any of your questions and concerns, and protect your rights at all costs. All you have to do is concentrate on getting the proper rest you need and attending your medical appointments, while your attorney handles the ins and outs of your claim.
2. Saying too much on social media
Social media tends to be a big problem during personal injury claims. Clients usually want to vent, update their friends and families, or share too much about their lives while they are stuck in bed. It is highly recommended to delete your social media accounts while dealing with a personal injury claim. However, if that is not an option for you, it is at least recommended that you try to stay off your accounts and refrain from posting too much during this time.
The reason for this is because insurance companies are trained to research as much as they can about you, which typically leads them to your Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and more. Their goal is to find anything they can to either jeopardize your entire legal claim or reduce the amount of compensation you are owed. Keep this in mind when you post a photo, write a comment under someone else’s post, or even when checking into a specific location.
3. Missing your medical treatment appointments
When you suffer injuries in an accident, it is crucial that you seek medical attention right away. Even if you do not think that your injuries are serious, you should still schedule an appointment with a licensed physician to make sure that you do not have hidden injuries that cannot be visibly seen. After your doctor assesses your symptoms and injuries, they will develop a treatment plan for you.
This may require you to go to follow up appointments, get surgery, attend physical therapy, or even to visit a psychologist for your trauma. Regardless of what type of medical treatment appointments you have, you cannot stop going or miss any of these appointments because they are beneficial to your health and wellbeing, as well as your personal injury case.
4. Lying or hiding information from your lawyer
You may think that you need to sell your injuries and accident to your lawyer. However, the truth is that your attorney is already on your side, and you do not need to lie or hide any information from them. This means that you should not lie or hide any previous injuries or medical conditions, any possibility that you may share fault in the accident, or why you were at the place where the accident occurred in the first place. If you lie, exaggerate, or hide any information from your lawyer, they will eventually uncover this information, and it could be already too late when they do. The last thing you want to do is damage your or your attorney’s reputation in a legal case that is meant to benefit you.
5. Throwing out or getting rid of your important documents
To avoid clutter, many people throw out their documents without much thought. However, when dealing with a personal injury claim, it is suggested that you never do this. Instead, you should find a place to safely store all your medical bills, receipts, prescription information, mechanic fees, and more. This information is vital to the success of your personal injury case and could be used to support your side of the story if your attorney requests it.
6. Admitting any type of fault
Although you may feel bad about being involved in an accident that involved a child or elderly person, for example, you should never go up to them and apologize. In addition, you should never tell anyone or post anything online admitting to any type of fault in the accident. Even if you have a slight feeling that you caused the accident, you do not know all the facts and circumstances involved.
For example, you may think that you are automatically at fault because you rear-ended another vehicle. However, your attorney may conduct an investigation and find out the other driver was actually intoxicated and slammed on their brakes abruptly. Therefore, it is always best if you leave the investigation to your attorney before admitting any type of fault for an accident.
7. Taking the first offer from the insurance company
The first settlement offer from the insurance company is almost always a low-ball offer. The reason for this is because they are hoping that you might accept their first offer out of desperation, but, if not, they know that it gives them room to increase their offer. Therefore, once you receive the first offer from the insurance company, you should never automatically accept. Instead, you should take it to your lawyer and allow them to determine whether it is a fair settlement offer that you should take or if you can get more.
At Carmody & Ging, we work endlessly to help our clients secure the best possible outcomes for their personal injury cases. A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer from our team is knowledgeable and skilled in the laws surrounding various types of accidents. We can review your claim as soon as possible and provide legal advice about what we think you should do. Call our office or submit our contact form to get started today with a free consultation.