Car accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and falls are just a few ways in which innocent accident victims become hurt every year. After an accident caused by the negligent actions of another person, accident victims are often able to claim compensation that can help offset the financial burden of the injuries.
Unfortunately, some common errors often keep people from claiming the full settlement they deserve after an accident. If you have been hurt and are thinking about filing a claim, below are the most common mistakes made in personal injury claims, and how to avoid them.
Failing to See a Doctor Right Away
You will likely not make this mistake if you suffered a serious injury, such as a broken bone, during the accident. However, if you were in a car accident you thought was fairly minor and you did not feel injured immediately afterwards, you may be tempted to not see a doctor. This is a mistake.
Even if you are not experiencing symptoms right away, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after any accident. This will allow you to start treatment right away. Also, if you do not seek medical attention, the insurance company may use that as a reason to deny you the damages you deserve.
Failing to Follow the Treatment Plan
Just as it is crucial that you see a doctor after any accident, it is just as important that you follow through with any treatment plan they recommend. If you do not follow through with the recommended treatment, the insurance company will argue that you did not attempt to mitigate your injuries and so, you do not deserve full damages.
Giving a Recorded Statement
When dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, they will likely ask you for a recorded statement before you hire a lawyer. You are under no legal obligation to provide this statement and you should refuse to do so. The insurer will use anything you say against you in the future to reduce your claim, or even deny it altogether.
Accepting an Offer from the Insurance Company
There may come a point when you should accept an offer from the insurance company, but that will likely not happen right away. Insurance companies are quick to offer low ball settlements to accident victims, who have not hired a lawyer, hoping they will accept it and be grateful to receive anything at all. The first several offers the insurance company makes will likely be unfair and not enough to fully cover the cost of your injuries. Negotiations can take weeks, and sometimes even months, before you are offered the fair amount of damages you deserve.
Not Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia
You are not required to work with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer when filing a claim, but it is recommended that you do. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our skilled attorneys know the most common mistakes made in personal injury claims, and will ensure they are not made in your case. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation so we can review your case.