Any accident that results in injury is traumatic and can leave you overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, even though emotions are high there are things you should avoid doing that can have a huge impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim. Here are some of the most common missteps victims make that can complicate, prolong, or even derail your claim for recovery.
Speaking to Your Insurance Company Before a Speaking to a Lawyer
All calls with your insurer are usually recorded, so any inconsistent statements and unintentional misstatements or admissions can be used against you outright or twisted to mean something other than what you said. It’s best to avoid speaking with them altogether and let your attorney handle emails and calls with your insurer.
Procrastinating on Contacting an Attorney
An attorney can evaluate your case and help you make decisions that help you in the long run when you might otherwise be tempted to take a low settlement right after an accident to avoid financial stress. An attorney will know what evidence will help your case and move quickly to document it before it can be inadvertently or deliberately destroyed. They can also give you advice on missteps to avoid that could harm your case, help you meet deadlines, and handle communication with your insurance company.
Hiring the Wrong Attorney
Even if friends or family recommend an attorney, you should do your own research. It’s important to look for an attorney with a record of favorable results, a focus on personal injury cases, good reviews from objective clients, and easy accessibility.
Accepting an Early Settlement Offer
Insurers know victims are anxious to get compensation so they can handle bills piling up from their injuries; this is why they often offer low settlements quickly after an accident to prevent you from investigating and understanding the true extent of your damages.
Posting About Your Case on Social Media
Insurance companies and counsel for others involved in an accident often examine social media for evidence that could disprove your damage claims. Ideally, you would refrain from all social media activity until your case is over – however, if you do continue to avoid photos or posts of you engaged in physical activities, talking about your injuries, talking about your recovery, or assuring friends and family you’re “okay” or “fine.”
Not Following Doctor’s Orders
Your doctor will give you a treatment plan for your injuries, and it’s important you follow it exactly. Not taking medicine as prescribed, attending appointments, or avoiding exercise could cause your insurance company to claim you increased the severity of your injuries.
Not Keeping Important Records and Evidence
Depending on the incident that caused your injuries, certain types of evidence strengthen your claim for recovery. Your attorney can advise you specifically, but retain all medical records, obtain contact information from any witnesses, photograph your injuries and the accident, and keep copies of any accident report generated or other documents relating to either the incident or your injuries.
Contact a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re injured it’s understandable you may not know where to begin to recover from your injuries. To avoid pitfalls and missteps, speak to the experienced Long Island personal injury attorneys at the Falkowitz Law Firm, PLLC without delay. Contact us 24/7 at (844)-385-4279 or by completing our online Contact Page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us use our knowledge and resources to fight for you and help you put your best foot forward.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.