Victims of personal injury accidents often suffer horrendous consequences because of another person's neglect. A careless driver, an overtired truck driver, or a doctor performing slipshod work can leave victims with life-altering injuries. These injuries may destroy their careers, damage their health, cause them to stop activities that gave them joy, and even prevent them from fully participating in family life.
Based on common sense, it would seem victims should receive compensation with a minimum of trouble. It's clear they were badly hurt, and the other party is at fault. What some accident victims fail to realize is that receiving financial compensation through the legal system entails navigating an adversarial process.
Most often, an insurance company is on the hook for the victim's compensation. Insurance company lawyers are paid to minimize claims payouts. No matter how clear the case may seem, they will look for ways to justify a lower payment or even no payment at all.
Sometimes, accident victims make a key mistake that gives the opposition the ammunition they need to avoid responsibility.
Mistake #1: Not Taking Immediate Action
It may be difficult or impossible to take immediate action if injured, but action should be taken as soon as possible. If able, always record any relevant information at the scene of the accident, such as the names and contact information of witnesses. Also, as soon as able, write down your account of what happened. Over time, crucial details are forgotten.
Often, victims forget to record all the expenses they incurred as a result of the accident. In order to receive compensation, it is important to have documentation of all property damage, medical costs, lost wages, and other related expenses or losses.
Mistake #2: Falsifying Injuries and Symptoms or Not Following Doctor's Advice
Sometimes victims feel they have to exaggerate to get fair compensation because the insurance company will always offer a lower amount than their claim is worth. This belief is false, and it can lead to losing your case entirely. Let your attorney worry about how to negotiate with the insurance company.
In personal injury claims, the opposing counsel can argue that his or her client is not responsible for some or all of your injury because you caused damage through neglecting to follow medical advice.
Mistake #3: Not Hiring an Attorney
Never think you cannot win a claim without consulting with an attorney first, or, even worse, think that you can win without an attorney. Personal injury cases turn on fault. Even if the accident had nothing to do with your actions, insurance companies look for ways to make it appear you caused the injury to yourself. By hiring a tough litigator, you can rest assured that the blame will fall where it belongs.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our Houston auto accident lawyers understand that it may be difficult to stay calm after a crash. However, to avoid sabotaging your case, make sure you contact us and understand your rights and options.