The goal of a personal injury claim is to get compensation for injuries incurred in an accident caused by another party’s negligence. Claiming this compensation could easily be a walk in the park if the claimant understands the due process. However, the smallest of mistakes may limit the amount you may recover.
Some claims are so damaging in that they may ruin your whole claim and provide a loophole for the insurance company to reject your claim or lead to a judge dismissing your lawsuit.
Interestingly, the mistakes claimants make are prevalent and are easily avoidable. Read on for the biggest mistakes personal injury claimants make and how to avoid them.
Settling Before You Understand the Extent of Your Injuries
A host of insurance companies rush to get the claimant quick compensation. The approach is often not in the claimant’s best interest, but theirs. In cases where the injury is severe, the quick settlement is almost invariably less than the fair compensation you’d alternatively have the right to claim and recover. The best way to make an insurance company make you a reasonable offer is by building your claim.
Building a claim will require all your medical records and bills. Frequently, the records go hand in hand with separately written opinions from your doctor. Sometimes, the statement may even need to come from another expert doctor that wasn’t your physician. Either way, the bottom line is after making a claim, hold on before you accept any settlement deals. Allow yourself some time to understand the full extent of your injury and its impact.
Believing the Insurance Company on their “Final Offer”
One of the most excellent tactics insurance adjusters like to use when presenting a settlement is tagging it as the “final offer.” The tactic is often used by insurance companies specifically on self-represented claimants in the belief that they pose no lawsuit threat against their insured client. With the insurance company having this mindset of facing no risk, they come off very confident, and often the claimant is cornered and lacks negotiating leverage.
So, many injured claimants fall victim to this trick and end up taking up the initial offer for fear of lacking compensation at all. Understanding whether an offer made is the “final offer” is among the many skills of a great personal injury lawyer in Baton Rouge. Your claim may not always go to court but having a lawyer to do the bargaining for you gives you a higher chance of receiving the full value of your damages.
Overvaluing or Undervaluing the Claim
It’s rare for an injury victim to value their claim correctly; most, either overvalue or undervalue their claims. To fully understand the value of a claim, you’d require an understanding of personal injury law. When you underestimate your claim, the insurance company will pay exactly what you ask for and even negotiate for a lower amount.
Overvaluing often isn’t too much for the insurance to pay. Overestimating is just the first indicator to the insurance company that you lack a legitimate sense of your claim’s well-founded value. Understanding this also means that they are aware that you may be willing to settle for less. Mostly, because you are unaware of your case’s actual value.
Valuing your claim’s full extent requires a collection of experts from every field involved in the claim. An attorney will often have a pool of these experts and schedule a consultation to do an accurate valuation.
Failing to Consult a Lawyer
Self-represented claimants may fail to remember that insurance companies are businesses. Have it at the back of your mind that the insurance will not make profits by correctly settling all their claims. The settling companies will do all that is in their power to lower the amount they give. Remember that the insurance companies will send their lawyers to you, equipped with negotiating skills and convincing ability.
Approaching a settlement case by yourself puts your whole claim at risk. As much as an attorney may cost you, you stand a chance to gain so much more in your compensation, including things like psychological damages and other claims often overlooked by individuals.
Don’t let a Simple Mistake Ruin Your Claim
Knowing you are worthy of a personal injury claim is just half the battle. The actual fight is in the negotiating field. You need to protect your interest from the beginning to the end of the claim.
After obtaining injuries that you feel are worthy of a claim, seek the counsel of an attorney. Let them evaluate whether you have a case at all to start with; this will prevent you from getting frustrated by the insurance company. Next, let them evaluate the claim for you and proceed with the negotiations while you heal from the injuries.