Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim
It is crucial to maintain the integrity of your personal injury claim in New Jersey. Otherwise, you may lose the right to recover. One of the most important things you can do is avoid common mistakes. Even a seemingly simple error could bar you from financial recovery. If you need professional assistance during the claims process, contact a personal injury attorney in New Jersey for help.
Handling a Serious Injury Claim Alone
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is representing yourself if you have serious or catastrophic injuries from someone else’s negligence. Even if you understand how the legal process works in New Jersey, an insurance company could take advantage of you as an unrepresented plaintiff. If you hire a Union City personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, an insurance company will immediately take you seriously and treat your claim honestly.
Leaving the Scene Without Gathering Evidence
Although it is not a requirement, it can significantly help your personal injury claim if you collect evidence while still at the scene of your accident. Holding someone else responsible for your accident will require enough evidence to convince an insurance company or judge of his or her negligence in connection with your injury.
Staying at the scene and collecting evidence immediately is important, as it can enable you to preserve critical evidence before someone cleans up the accident site or remedies the hazard that injured you. Do your best to take photographs and videos, write down the names of eyewitnesses, and collect any other important information before you leave for the hospital.
Delaying Medical Care
One of the worst things you can do as an injured victim is wait to go to a hospital. Delaying medical care signals to an insurance company that your injuries were either a) not serious or painful enough to warrant immediate medical care or b) connected to a separate incident that occurred later. Waiting to see a doctor or ignoring your doctor’s advice could also give the insurer a reason to deny coverage based on your failure to mitigate losses.
Posting on Social Media
An insurance company can use what you post on your social media accounts against you. Photographs of you enjoying a night out with friends, performing daily activities, checking in at restaurants or making expensive purchases could send the wrong message – such as that you do not qualify for pain and suffering damages. Nothing is off-limits for investigators, including posts you delete and private messages. The best way to avoid posting the wrong thing is by posting nothing at all.
Trusting the Insurance Company
The insurance company is not on your side during a personal injury claim. The insurance company’s main concern is its bottom line, not your wellbeing. Do not make the mistake of trusting the insurance claims adjuster who speaks to you about your case. Do not admit fault, offer any information that is not specifically requested or agree to give a recorded statement. Finally, do not sign anything sent to you by the insurance company without consulting with a lawyer.
Rushing Into a Settlement
You may be impatient to resolve your case and get a settlement check, but it is very important not to rush into an agreement. Once you sign off on a settlement agreement, you cannot go back and renegotiate for a better value. Make sure you settle for a fair amount, including the price of future medical and health care costs such as physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Missing the Statute of Limitations
Take legal action within your statute of limitations. In New Jersey, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, in most cases. If you wait too long to file the paperwork, the courts will refuse to hear your case. Taking prompt legal action can also give you a stronger case, while key evidence is still available.
Speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident for assistance avoiding all of these common mistakes.