Too often I see accident victims denied any chance for financial compensation because of mistakes made before they requested a consultation with me to review their case. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Failing to seek necessary medical attention
When a new client comes to see me, the first thing I ask them is, “How soon after your accident did you seek medical treatment?” If you are injured, don’t try to tough it out without seeking medical treatment. The insurance companies like to call this a “gap” in treatment. They will contend that “gaps” in your treatment mean that you are not suffering from a real injury. I always advise my clients to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to diagnose and treat their injuries. The accident was not your fault, so why sacrifice your health to the benefit of someone else’s insurance company?
Accepting a settlement without legal counsel
When you accept compensation for your damages from an insurance company, it is almost certain you will sign away the right to take any further legal action. If you are offered compensation from an insurance adjuster, it is very likely you are owed more than what is offered.
A good trial attorney will evaluate your injuries and damages and advise you whether the insurance company’s offer is reasonable. In most cases, unfortunately, it is not.
Waiting too long to contact an attorney
Time works against you after injury and damages occur. With each passing day it becomes more difficult to conduct a critical investigation or accident reconstruction. Eyewitnesses become hard to find. The evidence disappears. Commonly, a client’s totaled vehicle containing critical evidence will end up rusting in a junk yard.
Importantly, the Statute of Limitations in your state forever bars the prosecution of your claim after certain time expires. Each state has a different Statute of Limitations. Some are as short as one year. Deadlines as short as 6 months from the date of your accident or injury can apply to certain government entities. A good attorney will never charge you to sit down and discuss your potential case – so why wait?