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If you get involved in a personal injury claim with someone, such as the owner of a dangerous premises or an at-fault driver, it is important to realize the impact that your actions can have on the outcome of your case. There are things you can do to help your claim, as well as mistakes that could be detrimental. Avoid these five common mistakes for better odds of holding someone accountable for your injuries.
From the very beginning of your case, you will be under investigation – mainly by insurance companies, but also potentially by private investigators hired by the insurer or the defendant.
It is important to conduct yourself in a way that won’t harm your personal injury claim. Don’t admit fault or apologize to the other parties involved in the accident, for example, and don’t lie about your injuries. If you are caught on camera engaging in physical activity a few days after reporting serious injuries, for instance, this could make you ineligible for compensation and even lead to allegations of insurance fraud. Keep in mind that you are under investigation and may remain so until the resolution of your claim.
Refrain from talking to other people about your personal injury case. Saying the wrong thing to the wrong person – even if you don’t realize it at the time or weren’t directly referencing your accident – could hurt your chances of recovering compensation. This is especially true regarding social media. Many accident victims don’t realize that their social media activity is admissible as evidence in a personal injury claim if it is relevant to the case. An insurance company can twist almost anything you post around to use against you. Protect yourself by taking a hiatus from social media until your case has been completed.
The strength of a personal injury claim relies largely on the evidence proving the victim’s injuries. Don’t delay in seeking professional medical attention after an accident in Connecticut, as this could give an insurance company a reason to deny your claim. Go to a hospital right away and explain what caused your injuries. Keep copies of your x-rays and medical records. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and don’t skip any appointments. Create an injury journal where you document what day-to-day life looks like with your injuries. Take photographs of your injuries at the beginning of your claim and as they heal.
Insurance companies are in business for themselves, not their clients. When dealing with an insurance company, remember that the insurance claims adjuster wants to minimize your payout as much as possible. Don’t admit fault and don’t agree to give the adjuster a recorded statement. Don’t jump to accept the first settlement offered to you by an insurance company. Once you sign a liability waiver, your claim is over; you cannot renegotiate for a higher amount even if you realize you said yes to an inadequate settlement. Before you sign your rights away, consult with a lawyer.
Representing yourself during a personal injury case (referred to as pro se legal representation) can be a huge mistake, especially if you have a complex or high-value case. Insurance companies have years of experience taking advantage of clients. You might not realize that the settlement offered is far lower than the amount that you deserve, for example, or that an insurance company is treating you unfairly, without assistance from a personal injury attorney in New Haven.
Lawyers cost less than you might think. Most operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t ever have to pay out of pocket. With this payment arrangement, you’ll pay your lawyer out of a settlement or verdict won, and you won’t pay anything if you don’t win. Statistically, claimants receive more money with legal representation than pro se representation – even after paying attorney’s fees. If you wish to arrange a free, zero-obligation consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Connecticut to learn more, contact Jacob & Jacobs today.