You may already know that you’re entitled to financial compensation if you are injured in the state of Louisiana by another person’s negligence. You may be compensated for your healthcare expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and for all of your related losses and damages.
Unfortunately, some of the injured victims of negligence make one or more mistakes that can keep them from acquiring the reimbursement they need and deserve. This is where a New Orleans truck accident law firm can help.
Anyone can be injured by negligence, so keep reading. You’ll find out which mistakes can ruin a personal injury claim, how to keep from making those mistakes, and how you can acquire the compensation you need after you have been injured due to another person’s negligence.
WHAT MISTAKES DO PERSONAL INJURY VICTIMS NEED TO AVOID?
If you are injured because someone else was negligent – in a vehicle collision or in a trip-and-fall incident, by a consumer item that is defective, or even by your own doctor in a case of medical malpractice – you can’t make the mistakes that might put your compensation at risk.
Here are the four frequently-made mistakes that can ruin someone’s personal injury claim:
1. a failure to seek immediate, appropriate medical treatment
2. a failure to collect key evidence
3. exaggerating the facts regarding the accident and injury
4. letting an insurance company representative talk to you
#1: A FAILURE TO SEEK IMMEDIATE, APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TREATMENT
You must obtain medical treatment immediately after any incident that causes an injury. An injury may at first seem trivial – in fact, you might feel great – but after several days or weeks, a latent or difficult-to-detect injury could unexpectedly emerge as a dangerous medical condition.
You must seek medical care within the first 24 hours after an accident. Later, if you have to seek compensation for a personal injury, you must be able to prove that your injury happened in that particular accident, and without the results of an immediate medical exam, that may be difficult.
WHY ELSE IS A MEDICAL EXAM SO IMPORTANT?
If you don’t have a medical examination at once, or if you don’t make it to your follow-up visits, there will be doubts regarding your injury, and those doubts will pose a threat to your compensation.
On the other hand, when you seek immediate medical treatment, keep your subsequent medical appointments, and follow your physician’s orders, you will:
1. protect your health
2. create medical records that you’ll need for a personal injury case
3. avoid a common mistake made by personal injury victims
#2: A FAILURE TO COLLECT KEY EVIDENCE
To prevail with a personal injury claim in Louisiana, you need to have precise and credible documentation of what happened and what your losses are.
A frequent mistake personal injury victims must avoid is failing to collect the evidence and documents that you’ll need to obtain your compensation. An experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney can help you later, but at the moment an injury happens, no lawyer will be there.
You’ll need to keep your composure and gather some items at the scene. These are essential first steps.
WHAT FIRST STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE IF YOU’RE INJURED?
As mentioned previously, medical attention is absolutely the first priority when you’re injured. After a traffic collision, you should also call the police. Find out how and when you can get a copy of their written police accident report.
If your injury happens at a hotel, restaurant, attraction, retail location, or public facility, report your injury to security or management. Most businesses and large facilities will ask you to complete a written injury report form. Be sure to make and keep your own copy.
Take photographs of the scene and photos of your injuries. In a traffic accident, take photographs of the property damages and the general location. Try to get the names of any eyewitnesses and a way to contact them. Later, your attorney may want their testimony or statements.
Store all of the pertinent photos, documents, and copies securely. Too often, an accident victim takes a personal injury case to an injury attorney without any photos, medical records, or any other way to prove a personal injury claim.
#3: EXAGGERATING THE FACTS REGARDING THE ACCIDENT AND INJURY
Exaggerating, misstating, or otherwise misrepresenting any fact or detail in a personal injury claim may have grave legal consequences. You could conceivably be prosecuted for fraud.
Fraudulent personal injury claims aren’t uncommon, but if your claim is going to prevail, it has to be as honest, as precise, and as accurate as possible. Do not make the mistake of misrepresenting what happened or exaggerating the severity of your injury.
Whenever someone seeks compensation for a personal injury or injuries, that person’s honesty will be questioned. Any misrepresentation could mean the failure of your claim. It might help you to write down the details about your accident and injury, and then stand by that account.
#4: LETTING AN INSURANCE COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE TALK TO YOU
If you’re injured in Louisiana because someone else was negligent, do not talk to anyone who represents the negligent party’s insurance company. Refer that person to your accident attorney.
You also must not record or sign a statement for that insurance company. Whatever you say might be twisted and used to discredit you. Don’t accept a quick settlement offer – it will probably be an amount far below what your claim is actually worth.
Instead, have a New Orleans personal injury attorney handle the negotiating on your behalf. Injury lawyers regularly negotiate personal injury settlements; that’s how most of these cases are resolved.
But if no acceptable settlement offer is made in private, out-of-court negotiating sessions, your attorney should be ready to take your case to trial.
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE: FAILING TO OBTAIN ADEQUATE LEGAL COUNSEL
You’ve learned four of the mistakes that the injured victims of negligence make far too frequently.
If you are injured because someone else was negligent, arrange at once to discuss your options and rights with a reliable Louisiana accident attorney. The failure to obtain adequate legal counsel immediately is perhaps the biggest mistake that injured victims of negligence can make.
The sooner an attorney is on the case, the better. Evidence can disappear, and witnesses can quickly forget details. Put your lawyer to work as soon as possible.
If you are injured in the state of Louisiana because another person was negligent, you are entitled to compensation. A good lawyer’s help is also your right. In fact, your future might depend on it.