Common Mistakes Personal Injury Clients Make
Legally speaking, a personal injury is incurred when an individual gets physically hurt because of another person or party’s careless, reckless, or negligent actions. The injured person can then file a personal injury lawsuit that allows them to receive compensation from the person or party that inflicted the injury.
An example of a personal injury is when a gym manager fails to repair malfunctioning workout equipment, and one of the gym members gets injured while using the said machine. Several incidents that may cause you physical injury include:
- When an animal, such as a dog, attacks
- When an object is damaged or malfunctioning
- When someone slips (ex. the floor is too shiny and slippery)
- When road maintenance is poor
- When a product is faulty
- When roads are not properly maintained
- When there is medical malpractice
Personal injury incidents are also common on construction sites and in the workplace or office. Additionally, vehicular accidents or car crashes are also sources of personal injuries. Some personal injury cases result from assault and battery incidents.
If you find yourself in these situations, find a good and experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you go through the legal process. Many personal injury cases often end up thrown away or on the losing end because of incorrect practices and misconceptions.
To avoid falling into such traps, allow your lawyer to help you understand the personal injury process. You have to know the proper steps and the mistakes to avoid so you can maximize the potential of your case.
Mistakes to Avoid
Avoiding the following mistakes will help make your personal injury claim experience a convenient one. Here are some things that you should take note of:
1. Failing to hire a lawyer.
Some people think twice about hiring a personal injury attorney because they think it will require them to spend a lot of money. This should not be an issue, however, since most personal injury lawyers often use their own money to cover expenses. They will only reimburse whatever they spend after the case is finished and a decision has been reached. In most cases, you shouldn’t have to shell out money at all just to keep your lawyer’s services.
Additionally, filing a personal injury compensation claim on your own is not advisable because of the often lengthy and highly complex process. As such, you need to hire the services of a lawyer trained and experienced in handling personal injury cases. This lawyer knows exactly what needs to be done. They know the law – what documents are needed, what evidence you should prepare, how much compensation to expect, and what the legal jargons mean.
Your personal injury attorney will also help develop a strategy that is beneficial for you, and they will look for witnesses who can help strengthen your case.
2. Failing to hire the right lawyer.
The only lawyer you should hire is a personal injury attorney, not a family lawyer or a DUI lawyer. Hiring just any lawyer will not help your case move forward. A personal injury attorney is trained, experienced, and knowledgeable in personal injury laws and court standards.
Lawyers are just like doctors; they have different fields of specialty.
3. Failing to document what happened.
Documentation is important in any legal proceedings. All the notes, videos, and photos will serve as evidence. These will not only help tell your story but will also serve as support for the case. All the notes, videos, and photos will help prove that the other party’s carelessness or negligence led to your injury or accident.
4. Failing to secure valuable medical evidence.
Medical evidence is valuable. In some cases, personal injury lawyers will refuse to proceed with the claim if you cannot provide reliable medical evidence. As such, you should seek medical attention right away. If possible, go to the hospital or a doctor on the same day that the accident happened.
In certain cases, the injuries and pain may not show right away, but even then, you still need to get medical assistance as soon as possible. If you take too long to go to the doctor, the other party can use this as a point against your claim.
After your medical check-up, your doctor will give you medical reports that can serve as your medical evidence.
5. Failing to collect information from witnesses
Find people who witnessed the accident/incident. Ask them to give testimonies that can prove that your case is real. These testimonies will serve as added evidence that can make your case stronger.
The more witnesses willing to share details of the accident that support your claim, the better it will be for your case.
6. Leaving the scene of the incident without waiting for the police
If you were involved in a serious accident, never leave the scene where it happened before the police arrive. Even if you already have the other party’s contact details, you still need to talk to the police and provide them with the details of what happened. This will ensure that the police report will contain the correct account of the incident and not the story provided by the other party or any other individual that the police interviewed.
You can request a copy of the police report later on and use this as additional evidence for your claim.
Avoiding the mistakes enumerated above is ideal for strengthening your personal injury compensation claim. Regularly communicating and coordinating with your lawyer should also be a priority if you want to maximize your chances of winning the claim.
About the Author:
Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.