When you’re injured because of someone else’s negligent actions, you can potentially file a personal injury claim and recover financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary damages.
Insurance companies aim to pay you as little as possible, and they look for you to make any mistake that could prevent you from recovering a fair amount. Insurance companies seek any valid excuse to deny your claim, as well.
Attorneys at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome have more than 18 years of experience and have identified the most common personal injury mistakes that people tend to make.
1. Admitting Fault
Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident or a slip and fall injury, your first instinct might be to talk about what you did wrong to cause the incident, or to apologize. Even if you think you were at fault, do not admit it to other parties, the police, or an insurance company.
Never admit fault or say you’re sorry. There will be an investigation to determine fault, and if you admit that you caused or contributed to the accident, it could bar or reduce your compensation.
2. Delaying Medical Attention
Even if you think you escaped the incident without a scrape, it’s vital to seek medical attention. First, some injuries do not appear immediately, but a doctor could detect them through an x-ray or other diagnostics. Second, if you delay medical attention, the insurance company could argue that your injuries weren’t severe, and reduce your compensation.
3. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
When an insurance company calls to get your side of the story, they may ask to record your statement. Do not agree to be recorded. Anything you say can be used against you, even if you think you’re making an innocent statement. The insurance companies know the questions to ask and how to ask them to force you to say something that could hurt your case.
4. Accepting an Initial Settlement Offer
Remember, insurance companies are in the business of making money, so they will inevitably present you with a bare minimum offer. They are relying on the fact that you want to get back to “normal,” pay any outstanding medical bills, and put the incident behind you.
However, you do have the power to negotiate, and it’s a good idea to consult with your personal injury attorney before accepting an offer.
5. Failing to Account for All Your Injuries and Damages
Before you accept a settlement, make sure that all your injuries and property damage have been accounted for. The reason is that once you accept an offer, you cannot reach out to the insurance company again and request more money.
To avoid making this mistake, carefully document your injuries and damages, and confirm with your doctor the severity of your injuries and how they will affect your life.
6. Posting on Social Media
Insurance company investigators will be sniffing around your social media accounts, looking for any evidence that you faked or exaggerated an injury. They can even use innocuous posts, like “feeling great today!” to claim that you are not seriously injured.
Do not give them any ammunition by posting on social media before you have a settlement check.
7. Thinking You Don’t Need or Can’t Afford an Attorney
A lot of people think they don’t need an attorney or they can’t afford one. As you’ve read above, insurance companies can play dirty, and attorneys know these tricks.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay anything upfront until your case is settled. If you have been injured in an accident in Connecticut, contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome for a free consultation at (475) 241-0824.