Whether you’re injured in a slip and fall in the supermarket or a truck accident on the interstate, it’s important to ensure your rights are protected. One mistake can have a significant impact on your case, and result in a minimal recovery or no compensation at all. Many personal injury clients aren’t even aware that these factors could affect their cases. The attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad advise injured victims to be mindful of these common errors to protect their rights.
Failing To Collect Evidence
When you’re involved in an accident, you may feel shaken and overwhelmed. It’s important to stay calm and collect as much evidence at the scene as you can. Taking photos of the scene and your injuries, getting insurance and contact information, and speaking to witnesses can provide valuable documentation of what happened and who was responsible for causing a crash. Asking for a copy of the police report before you leave the scene and jotting down notes while the incident is fresh in your mind can also be a big help. Unless you are severely injured or it is dangerous to do so, gather as much evidence as possible.
Talking To Insurance Adjusters
One of the most important things you can do to protect your interests is to avoid speaking to insurance adjusters before consulting a personal injury attorney. This can be challenging, as they may hound you to give a statement. In cases involving truck accidents, a trucking company’s insurer may even send adjusters and investigators to the scene. Do not give a statement, sign anything, authorize an insurer to obtain your medical records, or accept a settlement without getting a case evaluation from a qualified lawyer. Your attorney can advise you of the next steps to take and ensure your rights are protected.
Keeping Secrets From Your Attorney
It’s critical to be completely honest with your lawyer. Being open about what occurred can give your attorney an accurate perspective and an idea of how to approach your case. It’s also important to be completely transparent about any preexisting medical conditions you may have. The other party’s insurance company will most likely research your medical history and try to use it against you. The last thing you want is your attorney to be blindsided by new information that could throw a wrench in negotiations.
Being Unaware of Damages You May Be Entitled To Recover
Insurance companies are not going to offer up information about the damages you can recover. Some common damages in personal injury claims include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future loss wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Other damages, depending on the specific circumstances
Underestimating The Value of Your Claim
It can be tempting to give and agree to a settlement just to get the process over with. Doing this can be a grave mistake and leave you stuck with piles of medical debt and financial hardship. You may not even be able to get the care you need, which can have a serious long-term impact on your health and well-being.
It’s not uncommon for injured victims to have no idea what the insurance limit amounts are for other parties. For example, if you’re hurt in a truck accident, you may not know that the trucking company’s policy limits reach into the millions of dollars. There is no set formula for determining what your case may be worth, but an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to calculate how much compensation is fair and will cover all your expenses and damages.
Sharing Information About Your Case
During the personal injury claims process, you shouldn’t talk about your case to anyone except your lawyer. Although sharing details with friends and family may seem innocuous, insurers look for everything they can to minimize your injuries and discredit your claims. Most accident attorneys advise clients to deactivate their social media accounts until their case is resolved to avoid the risk of posting something that could jeopardize their claim.
Failing To Act Quickly
Although they vary depending on the circumstances and the state, there are statutes of limitations on how long you have to bring a personal injury claim. The sooner you contact an attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you of your options, the better.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, our personal injury attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help. Contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania.