Simple mistakes made after a personal injury incident can negatively impact the outcome of a lawsuit. Compensation for injuries and other damages could be thrown out by the court because of one small mistake. To avoid sabotaging an injury case, these five mistakes should be avoided.
#1. Failure to Seek Medical Attention
The injured party should immediately seek medical attention after an accident. It could complicate a personal injury case when the injured delays medical care. The insurance company or defense could claim that the injury was not that serious because medical help was not sought.
#2. Failure to File a Police Report
A police report is an official record that is used for evidence in a personal injury claim in court. It contains details and contact information for all involved parties. This report serves as proof that an accident occurred and typically notes who is suspected to be at fault. An injured party should never admit fault, regardless of what the report suggests.
#3. Failure to Document Accident and Injury
It can be easy to forget the details of an accident. In the age of smartphones, it is simple and convenient to document an accident or injury. To ensure the success of a personal injury claim, the injured party should:
- Write or record details of the accident while still fresh in memory
- Take photos of damage and injuries
- Keep track of conversations with insurance providers
- Have records of all doctor visits and medications prescribed
- Ask witnesses for contact information
- Maintain records for lost wages
#4. Failing to File Claim in Timely Manner
If an injured party has waited too long to file a claim he or she could lose the right to sue the negligent party. Illinois civil statute of limitations laws requires most personal injury claims to be filed within two years of the injury, though with certain defendants the deadline can be even sooner. In most cases, the clock starts running at the time an injury occurs.
#5. Failing to Seek Legal Advice
A personal injury attorney will explain the litigation process and what to expect to the injury victim. While the injured is recovering, the attorney is busy at work gathering evidence, conducting investigations and negotiating with insurers and the defense.