Top 10 Mistakes You Can Make in Handling Your Own Automobile Injury Claim
10) Don’t go to the doctor. The injury claim lives and dies on the contents of your medical records. If you don’t go to the doctor, it appears you must not have been in pain.
9) Not having the right kind of insurance before the claim occurs. It is: uninsured motorist; underinsured motorist coverage and; health insurance to make sure you can get your medical expenses paid for. There is no guarantee that the at-fault driver has enough insurance coverage to satisfy your personal injury claim and this let’s us plan for worst-case scenarios.
8) Missing the Statute of Limitations. Every case has a Statute of Limitations that varies by state and the type of case. The essence is that if your claim is not filed with the proper court in the prescribed time, the claim is barred like it never existed.
7) Immediately bringing up settlement to the insurance company. It makes you look like your primary concern is money. Instead, concentrate on your injuries and do what you need to get better.
6) Don’t settle your personal injury claim too early. When an insurance company makes an offer to you immediately after the claim, they are trying to buy the risk that you may need more treatment. Don’t think that they are doing you any favors.
5) Signing documents without reading them. If you do sign a release of your personal injury claim, your claim can be done before it gets started. I always tell my clients when they are signing a release, it does not matter how severe of an injury is discovered at a later date, you cannot recover anything further on their injury claim.
4) Guessing on distances and facts. Many insurance companies want to do recorded statements with you immediately after the car wreck. Sometimes, when facts are in dispute, that can be a good way investigate the claim further. However, if you guess, those estimates may be used to determine liability for the wreck.
3) Posting facts regarding the car wreck or your injuries to Facebook. Very simply, for cases involving litigation, most defense attorneys will make you produce all your Facebook, or other social media, since the wreck. To borrow a line from the Miranda warning, whatever you say can be used against you in a court of law.
2) Not understanding that all of your previous medical history is relevant to the injury claim. Insurance companies may want several years of your medical history. The idea being that if they did not cause the injury but rather aggravated a pre-existing injury, your claim is worth less.
1) Becoming stubborn about the perceived value of your claim. Very simply, we all want to believe our own hype. A bird in the hand is always worth two in the bush and every jury verdict is a gamble. Accurately predicting what twelve people will think is difficult for the best attorneys or judges.