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Top Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

by Eric
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Filing a personal injury claim can be complex and overwhelming, but with the right guidance and personal injury attorney, you can navigate the process seamlessly. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence, understanding the legal landscape is challenging. 

At www.cohenfeeley.com, we see many claimants make avoidable mistakes that can jeopardize their chances of receiving fair compensation. Here are the top mistakes to avoid when filing a personal injury claim:

1. Delaying Medical Treatment

One of the most critical mistakes is delaying medical treatment after an injury. Immediate medical attention not only ensures your health and well-being but also provides documentation of your injuries, which is essential for your claim. Untreated injuries can lead to complications that may hold up your case later on, so it’s imperative to always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident.

2. Failing to Document the Accident

Proper documentation is crucial in a personal injury case. This includes taking photographs or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Additionally, gather contact information from witnesses and obtain a copy of the police report. 

Every detail of evidence can significantly impact the outcome of an injury claim, no matter how small it may seem. Without this documentation, proving the extent and cause of your injuries becomes more challenging and the outcome of your case can be less favorable.

3. Not Following Medical Advice

Ignoring your doctor’s advice or failing to attend follow-up appointments can severely harm not only your physical well-being but also the well-being of your claim. Insurance companies often use this against you, arguing that your injuries are not as severe as claimed. 

Follow medical recommendations. Keep detailed records of your treatments and any limitations resulting from your injuries.

4. Talking to Insurance Adjusters Without Legal Representation

Insurance adjusters may seem helpful, but their primary goal is to minimize the payout. Speaking to them without legal representation can lead to statements that might be used against you. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that claimants with legal representation receive settlements that are 3.5 times higher than those without. An experienced attorney can protect your interests during these discussions. 

5. Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Insurance companies often offer quick, lowball settlements to resolve claims swiftly. Accepting the first offer could result in receiving much less than you deserve.

Consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement. They can help you evaluate whether the offer is fair and advise on the best course of action so that you receive adequate compensation. 

6. Posting on Social Media

In today’s digital age, many people share their daily activities on social media – sometimes a little too much. Posting about your accident or injuries can be detrimental to your claim. Insurance companies and defense attorneys often monitor social media accounts for evidence that contradicts your injury claims. To avoid jeopardizing your case, refrain from posting anything related to your accident or injuries until your claim is resolved.

7. Not Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Attempting to handle a personal injury claim on your own can be overwhelming and detrimental to your case. An experienced attorney understands the complexities of personal injury law and can navigate the legal system effectively. For instance, while it may be easier to calculate damage to a car, calculating non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress. A personal injury lawyer can handle your claim from start to finish, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.

8. Misjudging the Statute of Limitations

Each state has a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for filing a personal injury claim. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the injury. Missing this deadline can result in losing your right to pursue compensation. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that all legal deadlines are met.

9. Failing to Consider Future Damages

When calculating the value of your claim, it’s essential to consider not only current medical expenses and lost wages but also future damages. These can include ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term impacts on your ability to work. Our experienced attorneys can help you account for all potential future damages to ensure that your settlement or award is comprehensive.

Filing a Claim: The Help You Need

Selecting the right attorney is vital to the success of your case. You want to trust that you’re in capable hands with those dedicated to advocating for your rights and achieving the best possible outcome.

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