What you’ll learn reading this article:
- Learn the seven most common mistakes injured people make after their accidents.
- People who suffer injury from an accident and hire a lawyer get 3.5 times more money than those who try to settle on their own.
You’ve been in a car accident, slipped and fallen or been bitten by a dog. The police were called, you received medical treatment and insurance companies have been contacted.
You might think you have everything covered, right? Wrong!
Receiving a good settlement can be a complex process. Insurance companies don’t want to pay any more than they have to and the actions you take in preparing for a settlement can affect your health, your finances and your future.
Rather than trying to navigate the process alone, reach out to an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who will fight to get you every penny you deserve. Avoid any risk to your personal injury claim by avoiding these common mistakes:
Mistake #1: Signing Anything
Working with insurance companies can be confusing. They might ask you to sign different documents, claiming they’re needed to keep your case going. This might or might not be true. How do you know? Then there are the adjusters, who will often email or mail forms they want you to sign right after the accident. You’re in no emotional shape to do this of course, but they seem to try to catch you when you’re most vulnerable. All that legal language? You may not be able to make heads or tails of what they’re really talking about.
Insurance companies might also ask for:
- A medical records release – The insurance company may use this to dig into your past medical history to try and prove any pain you have is cause by a pre-existing condition.
- Release from future claims – If you sign this, you’ll be barred from any future monetary recovery, even though with some injuries, symptoms can worsen over time.
- Liability documents – These discuss how the accident or how injury happened. Do not sign, and do not discuss. Respectfully refuse to sign and then consult an attorney immediately.
Best advice? Don’t sign anything without consulting a personal injury attorney.
Mistake #2: Minimizing Pain and Injuries
Some injuries are evident at the scene – a bite from a dog, a broken arm, cuts. Some of the worst accident injuries are those you don’t see. These include soft tissue injuries. These can often worsen over time or crop up again years later. Don’t forget, after an accident or injury, you’re full of adrenaline, and that will mask much of your initial pain.
You should always get medical care immediately after an accident, even if you feel fine. Don’t refuse that trip to the hospital, but if you have to, be sure to see a doctor the same day. This not only protects your health, it creates documentation of your injuries.
Be sure to always let your personal injury attorney know if you develop new symptoms or new conditions, undergo new treatment and any psychological issues you’re experiencing.
Mistake #3: Not Following Your Doctor’s Advice
Following an accident or injury, it’s very important to go to all doctor’s appointments, physical therapy appointments or other treatments. Not keeping up with your scheduled appointments will attract the attention of the insurance company. Their thought process is, “If they’re so badly injured, why aren’t they listening to their doctor?” If you don’t pay attention to your doctor, you’re not only risking your health, you’re risking the maximum settlement. The insurance company could devalue your claim or simply dismiss it.
Mistake #4: Recording Statements
Insurance adjusters love recorded statements. They’ll ask you questions about your accident. These may seem like business-as-usual and no cause for alarm but remember: Insurance companies are not there to help you. More than likely, they are trying to gather evidence that will mean a lower payout for you.
Don’t agree to a recorded statement unless your attorney is present or has told you it’s okay to do so.
While insurance companies advertise that they are “on your side,” they are actually powerful companies with expert adjusters and high-priced lawyers. Their job is to protect the insurance company and pay out as little as possible.
Mistake #5: Losing or Not Collecting Evidence
You know the obvious things, like getting insurance and personal contact information. But what else? An experienced attorney will tell you what to collect and they can get evidence you might not think about like skid marks on a road, traffic camera footage or security camera shots from a nearby home or business. Make sure your evidence doesn’t do a disappearing act. Some things, like skid marks, can go away quickly and some security footage is recorded over on a regular basis.
Mistake #6: Not Keeping Mute on Social Media
Modern times mean modern methods for collecting information. Insurance adjusters will trawl your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts looking for posts, photos and videos that contradict your injury claims. Never share details and set your accounts to private until your case is settled to your satisfaction.
Mistake #7: Trying to Handle Your Claim on Your Own
Do you know that people who suffer injury from an accident and hire a lawyer get 3.5 times more money than those who try to settle on their own? You want to get the full amount of money you deserve, right? Right! Without the representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you’re in for a huge hassle and a lower payout.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%* and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.