4 Mistakes That Could Harm Your Personal Injury Case
If you intend to file a personal injury claim or if you’ve already initiated the proceedings, there are mistakes you must avoid to give your case the best possible chance of success. The insurance company will be looking for reasons to reduce the value of your claim or deny it outright, so it’s important that you’re careful about what you say and do while your case is ongoing.
Let’s explore a few common mistakes that could derail a personal injury claim:
1. Giving a Recorded Statement
Claims adjusters are notorious for asking questions that are specifically intended to elicit a response that can be used to dispute liability or damages. Your answers to a seemingly benign question like, “How are you feeling?” or “What were you doing just before the accident?” might be misrepresented to argue that your injuries aren’t that serious or that your own negligence was a contributing factor. It’s best to play it safe and let your attorney handle all such correspondence.
2. Posting About Your Case on Social Media
The claims adjuster might review your social media accounts for evidence that can be used to challenge your claim. Even if you’re careful about what you post, you never know how a photo or video might be taken out of context to dispute the severity of your injuries. It’s wise to stay off social media altogether until your case has been resolved.
3. Postponing Medical Care
If you postpone your medical evaluation, the claims adjuster might contend that you’ve failed to mitigate your damages—i.e. that your own negligence has caused your condition to worsen. This could ultimately reduce your financial award. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence system, the financial recovery in a personal injury case is reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault.
If such a dispute arises, your attorney can review your medical records and perhaps consult with medical experts to find out if your injuries would have been just as severe even if you had undergone an immediate evaluation. To protect your claim, it’s important that you visit a doctor right away if you haven’t done so already, and be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions exactly.
4. Accepting a Settlement Too Early
It’s not uncommon for serious injuries to cost more than originally anticipated. This is why personal injury attorneys often advise their clients to reach maximum medical improvement before entering settlement negotiations. As tempting as it may be to accept an early settlement, doing so could lead to financial turmoil if the amount of compensation you receive isn’t enough to pay for your future medical care, lost income, and other damages.