Every year there are thousands of personal injury claims that are filed to seek compensation for an incident in which someone has been hurt. Each personal injury claim has a specific compensation potential that is determined by the specifics of the incident in which the injury was sustained. This compensation potential can be greatly improved by the claimant doing the right things when making their claim, but can also be significantly impaired if the wrong steps are taken. To ensure that you maximize the potential for a favorable compensation payout, here are 4 things you shouldn’t do when filing a personal injury claim.
1. Don’t Believe the Adjuster
The first mistake that can kill the value of your case is to believe what the adjuster tells you. In particular, if the adjuster tells you the case is worth a certain amount, you should not take them at their word. The reason for this is that the adjuster's duty is to his client. Very often, you will be making a claim against someone else who caused your accident and that person will be the insurance company's client. The adjuster has to try and protect that client by trying to settle the case without incurring the client additional exposure. Do not listen to what the insurance adjuster tells you about the value of your case. Likewise, if you're making a claim against your own insurance company, keep in mind that although they have to act in good faith to you, the adjuster will also be looking out for what is best for the company.
2. Don’t Try to Represent Yourself
The insurance companies win all the time because people are not fully read up on their rights or are tricked or intimidated into dropping their cases. For this reason, you must hire an experienced law firm that specializes in personal injury claims. Personal injury lawyers can ensure that your rights are upheld and that opposition insurance companies and their legal teams are not able to mislead or coerce you into dropping your case or accepting a lower offer than you are entitled to. Specialized law firms will guide you through every stage of a personal injury claim and we found this great blog post at https://www.shreveportlawyer.com/blog/what-you-should-expect-in-a-personal-injury-deposition/ in which one expert law firm in Shreveport laid out exactly what personal injury claimants can expect. This kind of knowledge and advice is invaluable in guaranteeing that you have the best possible chance of a favorable outcome. Personal injury lawyers know all of the tricks that big insurance companies and their lawyers use to avoid making payouts to people who have been injured and are rightfully entitled to that compensation.
3. Don’t Make a Low Settlement Demand
Another mistake that people often make is asking for a lower settlement demand. If you start with low demand, that will set the cap on the amount that the insurance company is going to pay you and it is more than likely that they will try to pay you less. Do not believe that by making a low demand, you will seem reasonable and the insurance company will be reasonable in return. Insurance companies' profit margins are based around paying out as little as possible and so if you start low, they will go even lower. Start with a high settlement demand and then as the insurance company will try and negotiate you down, the final figure will end up somewhere that is satisfactory for both parties.
4. Don’t Refuse Expert Testimony
The final mistake that can kill your injury case is not securing expert testimony where appropriate. In certain types of cases, you need an expert to help prove your case and without an expert, you will not even get your case to trial as the judge will simply dismiss your case due to a lack of expert evidence. One personal injury case where you might need an expert is if you slip and fall down the stairs. In this instance, you may need an expert to explain what exactly was wrong with the stairs. Were the risers too long or too high? Were there improper handrails? Were they slippery because somebody had just mopped them? Expert testimony can be vital in proving that you are entitled to the compensation that you are seeking.
An injustice sustained in an accident, whether at work, in a car crash, or just walking down the street, can have a huge effect on our lives. The financial cost of such injuries can be substantial and there can also be significant pain and suffering. To mitigate these damages, you must take the right steps to maximize your chance for a favorable outcome in your case. If you have been injured, be sure to follow this guide when filing a personal injury claim.