Several factors can strengthen or weaken your personal injury claim. Some of these include failing to preserve evidence, failure to seek medical treatment after an accident, and failing to hire an attorney, among others. Here are a few examples of things you can do to strengthen your case. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a winning personal injury claim.
Preserving evidence is an essential part of your personal injury claim. Physical evidence, such as the vehicle you were driving, torn or bloodied clothing, and other evidence, can help your lawyer prove fault. If you have a camera or smartphone, take photos of the scene of the accident, your injuries (if possible), the other cars involved in the accident, road conditions, etc., and save them for your injury attorney to review.
Evidence degrades quickly, making it important to preserve it as soon as possible. For example, skid marks on the road will wear away over time, and security footage is often deleted after 48 hours. Witnesses may also forget important details. Although victims and their families can attempt to document everything about an accident, it is more effective to work with an attorney who has training in the field. To build a case, they will corroborate everything – including witnesses’ statements – with the police report and your medical records.
Failure to Seek Medical Attention after the Crash
The failure to seek medical attention following an accident can significantly weaken a personal injury claim. Even minor injuries can cause long-term pain and health consequences if not treated properly. Insurance companies will often use this as evidence to deny a claim. This is why it is so important to have a full medical check-up after the crash.
In some cases, the insurance company may argue that the injury’s extent is exaggerated or that you did not sustain it in the accident. Other times, they will argue that your injury occurred before the accident. In other cases, they may claim that your failure to seek medical attention delayed your recovery or worsened the injury.
It is important to follow the proper procedure if you have been injured in a traffic collision. Even if it wasn’t your fault, failing to seek treatment can undermine your claim or force your lawyer to settle for less money than you deserve.
You may be tempted to skip follow-up medical visits or treatments after an accident, particularly if it is minor. But it would be best to remember that skipping appointments will weaken your personal injury claim. If your attorney seeks economic compensation for medical bills, physical recovery treatments, therapy, etc., and some associated costs, your negligence in keeping up with the doctors’ recommendations will only result in a small settlement.
The Severity of Your Injuries
It’s important to know that the severity of your injuries can affect your personal injury claim. Catastrophic injuries – like traumatic brain injury, broken bones, burns, etc. – require more medical care and rehabilitation than minor injuries. However, the serious ones also affect your ability to work and your quality of life. Depending on your situation, your lawyer will focus on financial recovery for loss of future wages, temporary or permanent disability (if it is the case), unemployment, loss of enjoyment for daily activities, etc.
Therefore, if you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important to document all physical and psychological symptoms. A post-accident personal journal detailing health issues like nausea, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, limp, headaches, etc., will help your attorney tailor a stronger claim for pain and suffering compensation. If necessary, a psychotherapist could testify on your behalf to prove mental anguish, stress, depression, etc.
The amount of evidence you can produce can greatly impact the value of your claim. Having solid proof of someone’s negligence is necessary to win compensation.
Liability and shared fault laws differ from state to state, but some commonalities exist. For example, some states follow the pure comparative negligence system, which assigns fault percentages to each party. Damages are then split between the two parties according to the percentage of fault assigned. This means that a person who is 99% at fault can still receive some compensation. Other states, like Indiana, use a modified comparative negligence system that factors each party’s contribution to an accident but bars one’s recovery if the individual’s fault percentage exceeds a certain threshold.
Your Attorney’s Resources and Skills
Your attorney’s knowledge and experience are essential when pursuing a personal injury claim. For example, if you were injured in a multi-car accident, you must find a lawyer with experience handling similar cases. In addition, your attorney should have extensive knowledge of liability claims and how to handle negotiations with insurance companies.
A good personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your case’s strengths and weaknesses and suggest steps to maximize the value of your claim. Then, whether you file a lawsuit or settle a claim outside the court, your attorney can advise you on the best course of action to take.
Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.
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