When an unexpected personal injury occurs, making the right decisions is so important. Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that a lot of people make after suffering an injury, and any of these mistakes can compromise your case. Talk with a Cheyenne, Wyoming and Laramie, Wyoming personal injury lawyer right away, and keep reading to learn what to avoid.
The 8 Most Common Mistakes People Make After Suffering a Personal Injury
1. Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
One of the most common mistakes is delaying medical treatment. Some believe that their injuries are minor or hope the pain will subside on its own. Some are afraid of the medical bills. But there are few things you can do that will be more damaging to your health – and your case – than not getting prompt medical help.
Not only can a delay exacerbate the injury, but it can also negatively impact the potential legal claim. When there’s a significant delay, or no medical documentation at all, it can be difficult to link an injury to the incident in question. The other side will be able to make a strong argument that you were not badly injured by the accident.
Ignoring the Doctor’s Orders
Going along with failing to seek medical attention is failing to follow the medical advice you are given. If your physician prescribes rest, medication, or therapy, it’s for a reason. Failing to adhere to these recommendations can slow down your recovery and give the insurance companies a reason to doubt the seriousness of your injury.
2. Not Reporting the Incident
Whether it’s a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other personal injury, it’s vital to report the incident to all the relevant parties as soon as possible. If it’s a traffic collision, call the police. If it’s a workplace injury, notify your supervisor. By reporting, you’re creating an official record of the event, which you will need during legal proceedings.
Giving Statements Without Legal Counsel
While you need to make all the proper reports, don’t give any statements without your lawyer present. In the aftermath of an accident, you might be approached by insurance adjusters seeking a statement. While they might seem friendly, remember that they work for the insurance company, not for you. Providing a statement without first talking to your legal counsel can lead to unintentional admissions or inconsistencies that can be used against you later.
Likewise, if you’re in a car accident, don’t talk to the other driver other than to get insurance information and make sure everyone is ok. If you’ve been injured at work, report the incident, but don’t talk to any insurance agents or other reps from your workplace without legal advice.
3. Underestimating the Value of Your Claim
Personal injuries can lead to extensive medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. It’s easy to underestimate the long-term financial impact, especially when eager insurance adjusters make quick settlement offers. Accepting an offer without understanding the full extent of your damages or without consulting a lawyer can lead to settlements that don’t cover all your needs.
Here’s where you need the expertise of a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer with lots of case experience in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Laramie, Wyoming will know just how to value your case and will almost certainly think of things you’ll need in the future that you aren’t able to anticipate right after an accident.
Overlooking Future Medical Needs
It’s not just about the immediate medical bills. Some injuries require long-term care or result in chronic issues. Failing to consider future medical expenses means you might accept a settlement that falls far short of your actual needs.
4. Not Consulting a Lawyer Early Enough
Many individuals feel they can handle the claims process on their own. While it’s your right to do so, not having professional guidance can result in many avoidable mistakes and reduced compensation. Insurance companies have vast resources and experienced adjusters who handle these claims daily. Having someone on your side who knows the intricacies of the law and the tactics of the defense can really level the playing field.
Misunderstanding the Legal Process
The legal system is almost hopelessly complex, with many rules, deadlines, and procedures. For someone unfamiliar with all this, missing a filing deadline or not knowing how to properly submit evidence can destroy a claim before it even begins: and it’s easy to do if you’re not a legal professional. By consulting a lawyer early, you ensure that your case moves smoothly and that you’re complying with all legal requirements.
5. Talking Too Much on Social Media
In today’s digital age, many share the minutiae of their lives on social media platforms. However, after a personal injury, what you post online can be used against you. Insurance companies often monitor claimants’ social media profiles, looking for evidence that might contradict their claims about the severity of their injuries. For instance, if you claim severe back pain but then post a photo of yourself hiking, this could be used to challenge the validity of your claim.
Check Those Privacy Settings
Even if you’re cautious about what you post, not having the right privacy settings means that anyone can view your profile. This gives insurance adjusters easy access to your posts, photos, and even your friends’ comments about your activities or health.
6. Settling Too Early
While it might be tempting to settle your claim quickly and move on with your life, doing so might not be in your best interest. Many are understandably eager to close this chapter of their lives and accept the first offer they receive, but this is often far less than what they deserve.
Overlooking the Long-Term Impact
Injuries can have long-term repercussions that aren’t immediately apparent. By settling early, you might miss out on compensation for future medical expenses, long-term care, physical therapy, or additional lost wages due to prolonged recovery or even permanent disability.
7. Avoiding Communication
While it’s important to be cautious about what you say, especially to insurance representatives, complete avoidance of all communication can result in missed opportunities or misunderstandings about your claim. The best thing to do when insurance companies come calling is to contact your lawyer right away. Pass on every communication you receive to your lawyer quickly, and let your legal professional keep things moving on your behalf.
Not Updating Your Lawyer
While it’s important to handle communications with care, it’s equally vital to keep your lawyer informed. If there are changes in your medical condition, new bills, or other developments, your attorney should be the first to know. This ensures they have all the information necessary to advocate effectively on your behalf.
8. Failing to Account for Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Physical injuries are often the immediate focus after an accident, but the emotional and psychological impact can be just as significant. Many victims face post-traumatic stress, anxiety, or depression after a personal injury, which can affect their daily life, relationships, and overall well-being.
Dismissing Therapy or Counseling
Not seeking therapy or counseling to address these emotional wounds can hinder your recovery. Mental health is as crucial as physical health, and getting the appropriate help can ensure a full recovery.
Get Help From Your Cheyenne, Wyoming and Laramie, Wyoming Personal Injury Lawyer
We’ve seen the challenges our clients face firsthand, and the common mistakes they make. We don’t want you to lose out by making the same mistakes. If you or a loved one are dealing with a personal injury, reach out to Ochs Law Firm today.