If you or a loved one has suffered an accident due to negligence from another party, you may be liable for financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Personal injury cases are often complex. They require a lot of research and expertise to deal with.
Here are some mistakes that personal injury clients should avoid in order to strengthen their cases.
They Don’t Seek Medical Attention.
The most significant mistake you can make as a personal injury claimant is not getting the appropriate medical attention after your accident. It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately, even if you’re feeling fine at the moment. This is because most injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, can take some time to reveal themselves, so visit the emergency room to ensure that you’re safe and healthy.
Additionally, you’ll be able to get medical documentation by visiting the ER, thereby helping your personal injury claim. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more challenging it may be for you to win your personal injury case.
Forgetting to File the Lawsuit on Time
Every state has different regulations on how long you can wait to file a personal injury claim for it to be considered. Under the statute of limitations for personal injury in Alabama, the longest you can wait before filing a claim is two years.
If you’re unable to submit all the required documentation on time, the jury may refuse to look at your case. This means that you should hire a personal injury attorney right after the accident occurs. This way, you’ll be up to date with all the regulations and deadlines, making for a stronger case in court.
Not Gathering and Submitting Evidence
There are a couple of things and evidence that you need to gather to go ahead with your personal injury claim. These include medical documentation of your injury, bills, receipts, and more. You should have been able to gather evidence of your accident by involving the police since you’ll need to submit their report as well.
Providing witnesses will also help strengthen your personal injury case. Ideally, the law enforcement body should be able to gather all the correct contact information of everyone involved in the incident, including bystanders and witnesses. After the accident, you should ideally have photographed the scene, including any sort of property damage and injuries. If a camera was present, you should be able to recover the footage of the accident to present in the court as evidence. After doing all of this, you should look into hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you win your case in court.
Not Choosing the Right Lawyers
The most important thing about filing a personal injury case is getting suitable legal representation. A personal injury lawyer will help you recover financial compensation for the injuries you have sustained in your accident. This can range from slip and falls at work, medical malpractice, auto accidents, and more.
The right personal injury lawyer will be able to assess your situation accurately and come up with the best strategy possible to help you fight your case. They’ll outline the steps that you need to take in order to win the case, they’ll help you narrow and write down your claim and help you submit it in court.
Experienced personal injury lawyers work with multiple professionals from different industries to help strengthen personal injury cases, such as doctors, actuaries, auditors, and other financial experts. Together, these professionals will be able to identify the final sum of your financial compensation. Professional personal injury lawyers will also be able to account for any future financial burdens that the plaintiff may face due to medical bills and treatment, time lost at work due to injury, any disability that is a direct result of the accident that can lead to reduced quality of life or a loss of future wages, and more. An excellent personal injury lawyer will also be able to account for non-economic damages, such as the mental pain and suffering of the plaintiff or their family members as a result of the accident.
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Like litigators, personal injury lawyers gather evidence and develop legal theories while researching case law. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to prepare witnesses, gather evidence, and much more.
Roughly, a personal injury lawyer will demonstrate:
- That the plaintiff was injured
- That the liable party has a duty of care toward the plaintiff
- That the injury was a direct result of negligence from a responsible party
- Gather documents and evidence for the case
- Prepare witnesses and their testimonials
The correct personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through the entire procedure and help you interpret legal, medical, and insurance jargon. They’ll also be able to give you sound advice on approaching your case and providing you with appropriate representation in court.
They Don’t Ask Questions
Some people think that dealing with a personal injury case is straightforward. It’s not.
Personal injury cases can be extraordinarily complicated and niche, which is why some personal injury lawyers specialize in certain areas, such as car accidents or medical malpractice. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not asking your personal injury the right questions.
Some questions you should ask your personal injury lawyer are:
- Have you handled a case like mine before?
- What is your track record in court?
- What are your qualifications?
- How will you guide me?
- Do you have a lot of clients to deal with at the moment?
- How much experience do you have?
Asking relevant questions from your lawyer will ensure that you’re up-to-date with your case, increasing your chances of winning in court.
The author is a senior columnist specializing in personal injury law to help clients recover appropriate financial compensation for their damages. She enjoys writing for Hare | Wynn, Newell & Newton regularly and is a leading professional in the industry.