You were in an accident, and it wasn’t your fault. Now you’re hurt and not sure what to do next. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could jeopardize your case and get you less compensation than you deserve.
In this guide, I will teach you about the common mistakes people make after getting injured in an accident. I’ll also share some insider tips on how to avoid these mistakes so that you can maximize your chances of winning your personal injury case.
Read on to learn more about how to avoid common mistakes that can hurt your personal injury case.
What is a personal injury case?
A personal injury case is a legal dispute between two parties in which the injured party seeks compensation for damages caused by the other party’s negligence or recklessness. In such cases, you, as the injured party, must prove that the other party acted in a manner that breached a duty of care and caused them harm. The damages sought can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. In most cases, a settlement is reached outside of court, but if an agreement is not reached, the case will go to trial. It is important to consult with a seasoned Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to make sure you understand the legal process and to ensure that you are receiving fair compensation for your damages.
What are the common mistakes people make when filing personal injury cases?
There are many mistakes that can derail a personal injury case. The following outline the top things that you should avoid to ensure that you make the best of your situation and maximize your recovery.
Not Calling the Police
The effect not calling the police has on a personal injury case is that it leaves the case open to interpretation. Without a police report, stories can be changed after the fact, making liability harder to determine. If the police come to the scene, they are able to investigate the accident and make a liability determination having the benefit of seeing the evidence in context.
If liability is not clear, the at-fault party’s insurance company could deny payment or, you could be wrongfully found to be partially or fully responsible for the accident and your insurance company could end up raising your premiums. Without a police report, it becomes more difficult to prove one’s innocence in a personal injury case.
Not Getting the Other Parties Information at the Accident Scene
Immediately after the accident, take note of the other party’s name, address, phone number, and insurance information. Take a picture of the other person and their license plate. Do this as soon as possible. There is always a chance that the at-fault party could flee the scene of the accident.
Also, obtain the personal information of any witnesses at the scene. This should include their name, phone number, and email address. A witness may not be able to stay at the scene of the accident for very long, so get their information as soon as possible just in case.
Not Taking Pictures at the Scene
Not taking pictures at the scene of a personal injury case can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Without pictures, it can be difficult to prove that an accident occurred and who was at fault. The lack of evidence can make it harder for you to receive a fair settlement from an insurance provider, as they may dispute the claims entirely. Additionally, photos and videos can help reconstruct the accident and provide important details, such as weather and road conditions, which may have contributed to the case. Ultimately, not taking pictures at the scene may prevent you from receiving the fair compensation that you deserve, and may even lead to the case being dismissed or not receiving any compensation.
Saying Something That Implies Guilt
The risk of implying guilt when involved in a personal injury case is that any statements made, even the most innocent, can be used against the driver in a court of law. Insurance companies may take any statement out of context, like a “sorry”, to reduce the amount of compensation that they are required to pay. Social media posts can also be used as evidence and could lead to an admission of guilt. You should never discuss the accident with anyone other than their lawyer or those that you have a close relationship with. Moreover, you should never give an insurance company an official statement without the help of proper representation. If the defendant’s insurance company contacts you and you don’t have an attorney, tell them that you are looking for a personal injury lawyer. This will end the conversation for the time being and give you time to call us. 😉 Ultimately, if you make the mistake of saying something that implies guilt, it can lead to your case being compromised or even dismissed.
Not Filing a Claim Quickly Enough
It is incredibly important to file a personal injury claim quickly. In Nevada, there is a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury claims, during which time they must be filed or forfeited. If you wait too long to file a claim, you may not be able to obtain any compensation for your injuries or damages.
Posting on Social Media Without Thinking It Through
Posting on social media without thinking it through can harm your personal injury case in a number of ways. If you post a photo or statement related to the incident, it could be misconstrued and used as evidence by the insurance companies to disprove the severity of their injuries. For example, if someone posts a picture of themselves working out, playing golf, softball, pickleball, or otherwise engaging in activities that would be difficult or painful if they had the injuries they claim, it could be used against them to dispute their claim. Additionally, statements made in posts or comments can also be taken out of context and used to suggest that the person is not entirely truthful about the extent of their injuries. It is important that you avoid discussing the incident with anyone other than your lawyer and medical providers and to always be mindful of what you post online.
Not Getting Medical Treatment Right Away
When filing a personal injury case, it is extremely important to get medical attention right away. If a person waits too long to seek medical attention, the insurance company may use this as a reason to deny them the damages they deserve. For example, if you delay medical treatment, the other party could argue that the injuries are not related to the incident. Also, something could happen to you to cause other injuries before you are able to have a medical professional document the injuries that could be argued to have caused the injuries in question. Furthermore, seeking medical care immediately will allow for any hidden injuries to be identified and treated right away. It is important to ensure that any pain or discomfort is documented in medical records in order to make a successful recovery for damages. Therefore, it is imperative that a person seeks out medical attention as soon as possible after an accident in order to ensure that their personal injury case is successful.
Not Understanding the Laws in Las Vegas, Nevada Regarding Personal Injury Claims
When filing a personal injury case in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is important to be aware of the relevant laws that may affect the outcome of your case. These include:
- Laws regarding negligence, which are applicable when deciding whether or not the defendant was liable for the accident
- Laws regarding comparative negligence, which determine how much of the damages the plaintiff is entitled to receive
- Laws regarding personal injury, which set forth what types of damages are recoverable by the plaintiff
- Laws regarding access to medical records, which require that only relevant medical records be released to the insurance company
- Laws regarding the statute of limitations, which limit the amount of time a person has to file a claim
By being familiar with these laws and seeking the assistance of an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney, you can ensure your legal rights and interests are protected and increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Not Keeping Track of All of Your Bills
Not keeping track of all of your bills can have a detrimental effect on the success of a personal injury case. Without the necessary documentation to show how much money was spent on medical bills, lodging, income loss, and any other expenses, it will be difficult to prove which damages were caused by the accident or injury. Failing to produce this evidence can result in reduced compensation or even a dismissal of your claim, since it makes it difficult to show the court the extent of the damages suffered. Additionally, it can be easy to forget small details of the accident over time, so documenting all conversations with insurance companies and writing down a log of the details of the accident as soon as possible is key to proving your case.
Filing a Claim Against the Wrong Party
The importance of filing a claim against the correct party when filing a personal injury case cannot be overstated. If the wrong party is named in the claim, you may not be able to identify the actual at-fault party and in the end you will not receive any compensation.
Settling Before you are Fully Recovered
Settling a personal injury case before you have fully recovered is a great way to guarantee that you won’t receive sufficient compensation for the full cost of their treatment. This is because you can’t know the full extent of the medical treatment you will need to fully recover. If you have not yet reached maximum medical improvement, your settlement will not adequately cover all of the costs of your injury. Insurance companies frequently try to use your desperation to settle quickly, resulting a lower settlement than you would be able to get otherwise.
Not Getting Help From an Experienced Attorney
Not hiring an experienced attorney to handle a personal injury case can have serious consequences. Without the expertise of a legal professional, it can be difficult to navigate the legal hurdles and build a strong case that stands a good chance of receiving a positive outcome. Failing to hire an attorney may lead to being offered an unfair compensation amount and, in some cases, even being held responsible for someone else’s injuries. Additionally, insurance companies and their lawyers may try to place blame on the innocent accident victim in order to receive a lower settlement. Without the right legal representation, you may not be equipped to fight against such tactics. Ultimately, hiring an experienced attorney can help shield you from insurance companies that want to settle your claim for as little as possible, helping you to receive fair compensation.
How can you avoid these mistakes and give yourself the best chance of winning your case?
Step 1: Get a qualified lawyer or legal professional who specializes in personal injury law to represent you.
Step 2: Have your personal injury attorney start the process of filing your claim as soon as possible.
Step 3: Let your lawyer handle all communications related to the case.
Step 4: Be honest with your doctor and lawyer about your injuries or any pre-existing conditions.
Step 5: Follow your doctor’s orders exactly.
Step 6: Avoid discussing the case with anyone except your lawyer, especially on social media.
The process of filing a personal injury claim can be daunting. Through this guide, you have learned about the laws in Las Vegas, Nevada, how to protect your rights, and what to do if you are contacted by an insurance adjuster. If you’ve been injured by another, get the help you need to maximize your claim by contacting Red Rock Injury Law now!