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10 Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim

mistakes to avoid in a personal injury claim

Personal injury claims can be complex and emotionally challenging experiences. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or any other type of accident, it’s essential to navigate the process carefully to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 10 mistakes to avoid in a personal injury claim. If you’re in Albany, NY, and need assistance with your personal injury case, the experienced attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck are here to help. Call 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney today.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

Before delving into the common mistakes to avoid, let’s briefly clarify what a personal injury claim entails. A personal injury claim is a legal case in which an injured individual (the plaintiff) seeks compensation from the responsible party (the defendant) for their injuries and related damages. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Personal injury claims typically arise from various incidents, such as car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, product liability cases, and more.

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim

If you’re ready to take legal action against a negligent party for your personal injuries and other damages, it’s important to tread carefully. You’re likely under immense stress, which makes it easier to make mistakes – like saying or doing the wrong thing – without realizing it. You should always seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck before making any rash decisions. We can help you avoid these top 10 mistakes in a personal injury claim so that you can receive a favorable outcome and a fair settlement.

Not Calling the Police

After being involved in an accident, one of the first and most crucial steps is to contact the police. Failing to do so can hinder your personal injury claim significantly. A police report serves as an official record of the incident, detailing important information such as the parties involved, witnesses, and any potential violations of the law. This report can be invaluable when establishing liability and the extent of damages in your case.

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Not Documenting Evidence at the Scene

Another common mistake is neglecting to gather evidence at the accident scene. It’s essential to collect as much information as possible, including photographs of the scene, vehicle damage, visible injuries, and any contributing factors like weather conditions or road hazards. Additionally, take down the contact information of any witnesses, as their statements may become essential during the claims process.

Not Asking for a Copy of the Police Report

If you’ve followed step one and called the police, make sure to obtain a copy of the police report filed once it’s available. This document can provide critical details and strengthen your personal injury case against the negligent party. Your Albany personal injury attorney will use the police report to support your claim by demonstrating the other party’s negligence or wrongdoing.

Repeatedly Apologizing to the Other Party

During a stressful situation like a car accident, it’s natural to feel empathy and concern for others involved. However, repeatedly apologizing or admitting fault can be used against you later in your personal injury case, even if you do share a portion of fault in the accident. It’s crucial to avoid making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt, even if you believe you may have contributed to the accident in some way.

Avoiding the Doctor

One of the most significant mistakes you can make is failing to seek medical attention promptly.

Seeking medical attention is crucial even if you believe you have minor injuries. You could actually have a serious injury that appears later (this is referred to as a latent injury) and the doctor could catch it early, before it potentially threatens your health.

Delaying or avoiding medical treatment can not only jeopardize your health but also weaken your personal injury claim. An insurance company may argue that your injuries are not severe if you didn’t seek immediate medical care.

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Disobeying the Doctor’s Orders

Once you’ve received medical treatment, it’s crucial to follow the advice of medical professionals and adhere to their recommended treatment plan. Failing to do so can not only harm your recovery but also give insurance companies ammunition to dispute your claim. They may argue that you contributed to your own injuries by not following medical instructions, as indicated by your medical records.

Providing a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Adjuster

Insurance companies often seek recorded statements from claimants shortly after a car accident. While it may seem harmless, these statements can be used against you later. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions that may lead you to make statements that undermine your claim. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney before providing any recorded statements to an insurance company.

Signing a Release for a Settlement Offer

Accepting an initial settlement offer without consulting Albany personal injury lawyers first can be a costly mistake. An insurance company may offer a quick settlement to minimize its costs, but these offers often fall short of covering the full extent of your damages. Signing a release means you give up your right to receiving fair compensation, even if your injuries worsen or additional expenses arise.

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Posting Details of Your Accident on Social Media

In today’s digital age, it’s common for individuals to share various aspects of their lives on social media platforms, especially major accidents or traumatic events. However, discussing your accident, injuries, or legal matters on social media can be detrimental. Insurance companies and opposing counsel often monitor social media accounts for information they can use against you later such as an assumption of risk. To protect your claim, refrain from posting anything related to your accident or injuries on social media.

Waiting Until the Statute of Limitations Expires

Each state has a statute of limitations, which are specific deadlines for filing personal injury cases. In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically three years from the date of the accident. Waiting until the last minute to file a personal injury lawsuit can be risky because it could be dismissed. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck as soon as possible to ensure you meet all deadlines and have ample time to build a strong case.

Why You Need an Albany Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating a personal injury claim on your own can be overwhelming and risky, especially if you’ve made any of the mistakes mentioned above. An experienced Albany personal injury attorney from Bailey, Johnson & Peck can provide invaluable assistance throughout the legal process.

  • Legal Expertise: Our attorneys understand the intricacies of personal injury law and can assess the merits of your case, ensuring you receive fair compensation.
  • Negotiation Skills: Our Albany personal injury lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies to secure the best possible settlement on your behalf, or if necessary, take your case to court.
  • Evidence Gathering: We have the knowledge and resources to collect and preserve critical evidence that strengthens your case.
  • Objective Perspective: An attorney can provide an objective viewpoint and guide you away from emotional decisions that may harm your claim.
  • Peace of Mind: Having an attorney handle your case allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal complexities.
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Call Albany Personal Injury Attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck Today

If you’ve been severely injured in an accident in Albany, NY, don’t make the costly mistakes that can jeopardize your personal injury claim. Instead, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck today. We are committed to helping you navigate the legal process, maximize your compensation, and achieve the justice you deserve. Call us now at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation and let us advocate for your rights and well-being during this challenging time.

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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.

We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.