Personal injury cases can be difficult – even if you know you’re the one who’s been wronged. After being the victim of an accident, you may be suffering not only from physical injuries but also PTSD related to the event.
Understandably, you’re eager to get your compensation for the damages and suffering you’ve experienced, so you hire the best lawyers and do your best to prove that the other party is liable.
Still, this doesn’t mean you will not make mistakes, especially if you’re not careful. In fact, many personal injury clients make mistakes during the cases, and sadly these errors can affect the outcome. How do you prevent losing the case? Here are 7 common mistakes made by personal injury clients so you can recognize them and avoid them.
1. Taking Legal Advice from Family and Friends
Once you’ve been involved in an incident that resulted in injury, your family and friends will definitely be quick to give their opinion. Now, you’ll certainly be tempted to ask for their opinion yourself, but that would be a huge mistake, one that sadly too many personal injury clients make.
While some good advice from a familiar face may help you emotionally, you have to remember that family and friends are unqualified in the legal field. Therefore, you shouldn’t talk about your accident or claim with them, and you shouldn’t compare your claim’s value with someone else’s claim value.
Only take legal advice from a professional, such as your lawyer.
2. Believing All Lawyers to be Equally Experienced and Skilled
You’ll find a massive pool of personal injury lawyers everywhere. Chances are you’ll easily find one, even if you live in a small town. But one thing many personal injury clients fail to realize is that not all lawyers have the same skill or experience.
Some lawyers have decades of experience in the field, while others are freshly out of university and just taking their first cases. Ideally, you should leave your claim in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing.
Also, you should look for lawyers in your area too. In California, where the Mileage Death Rate was 1.06 in 2019, you can hire a Riverside personal injury lawyer.
3. Not Asking Questions They Find Embarrassing
One thing you have to know when it comes to personal injury cases is that you have the right to know what’s happening. Sadly, though, too many clients refrain from asking about certain things when they think the question is too embarrassing.
Don’t worry – your lawyer is an expert, and he or she is there to help you, not to laugh at you. Your lawyer will understand your need for knowledge and reassurance, so don’t hesitate to ask about anything.
4. Not Collecting All Evidence
Even when you know that collecting evidence is key to winning the case, many clients are too focused on their injuries following the accident, and it makes perfect sense. However, you should also prioritize evidence. Everything of relevance should be recorded and collected.
This includes photos and video footage, contact information from witnesses, the time of the accident, the weather condition when the accident occurred, and so on. If businesses nearby have cameras, you can ask them for CCTV footage.
5. Settling Too Soon
Everyone wants the case to reach an end as soon as possible – especially the claimant, who is waiting for compensation. For this reason, many clients accept to settle the claim way too soon. You should keep in mind that it’s not mandatory to accept a settlement out of court, especially if you still haven’t recovered fully or if you’ve experienced multiple injuries that are treated by multiple specialists.
Also, you shouldn’t settle too soon if you’re still being treated for your condition or injuries or if you don’t know how long it’ll take to recover.
6. Posting on Social Media
Relying on your social media friends can relieve some tension and emotional pain. Clients who talk about their incident online often regret it, though. The other party can use it against them, thus reducing the chance of getting compensation.
If you don’t want to negatively affect your chances of getting compensated, don’t vent on social media.
7. Not Hiring a Lawyer
Representing yourself in court may be a great way to save money, but it may also be a recipe for disaster. You do not have the legal knowledge and experience necessary to defend yourself against the other party’s lawyer, and this could go south very quickly. Don’t make this mistake – always rely on a good personal injury lawyer for the best results.
Personal injury cases are stressful, and you should do everything you can to navigate them smoothly. Avoid the mistakes here and your chances of success will increase.