Let’s suppose an unfortunate scenario where you are driving on your way back home, and you get hit by another car. In the process, you sustain several injuries. The injuries and the time it will take you to recover will mean treatment costs. Luckily, or not, the other driver is liable by law to pay, as compensation, for the physical damages and treatment costs through a legal process known as a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal injury can occur due to the negligence of another or due to the malintent of the perpetrator. The lawsuit for personal injury is an attempt on the victim’s, or the victim’s family’s, part to get compensated for the physical damages incurred.
A personal injury lawsuit, typically, consists of two parties: a plaintiff, the victim, and a defendant, the perpetrator. People who are not affiliated with the law in any capacity often confuse injury to one’s reputation with personal injury. It is, therefore, clearly noted here that personal injury is one where the damages incurred are physical, and is not related to one’s reputation or status.
So, now the question is, how can you claim a personal injury?
The plaintiff and the defendant can take many routes to settle the case. They could settle the matter through their insurance provider. If the insurance provider accepts to cover the cost of treatment and damages, then the case is settled right then and there. However, most of the time, things are not so plainly laid out.
The parties could agree to an out-of-court settlement by negotiating on the estimations around cost and liabilities to be paid. If both these options don’t pan out, then a final recourse is to go to court and file a lawsuit for personal injuries against the defendant. The plaintiff considers consultation with personal injury lawyers to develop strategies around getting the defendant to pay up for the damages and treatment costs.
There are certain, easily avoidable, and common mistakes that the plaintiff makes when filing for a personal injury lawsuit:
1. Not consulting a doctor immediately after the accident:
No matter the extent of the damages or injuries sustained, you should always seek professional medical assistance whenever you go through an accident. For a personal injury lawsuit, the need to consult with a doctor immediately after the accident is even greater. The medical records are admissible evidence in a court of law that can help determine the nature of your injuries, the extent of the damage to your person, and the number of reparations that you could claim.
2. Accepting low-settlement offers:
Insurance companies take advantage of a plaintiff’s vulnerabilities or lack of legal knowledge, and without paying to cover the full cost of treatment and compensation, they offer low-settlement offers before the matter even reaches court. Without the presence of qualified personal injury lawyers to help you fight for full compensation and remuneration, never accept initial settlement offers, which are made with the intent to make you drop the idea of claiming personal injury in a courtroom.
There is no one-offer settlement that can be applied to every case. Every case should be treated as unique and you should allow the personal injury lawyers to determine the extent of compensation.
3. Don’t miss deadlines:
Missing the statute of limitation deadline is something that you cannot afford to do if you want to be compensated for personal injuries. So when you file a claim, you have a list of all the mandatory deadlines. To avoid being passed over for the injury claim, strictly follow the deadlines. In addition to that, every state has its statute of limitations — the time in which a person can claim a personal injury. For example, the limitation in Texas is up to two years.
When a person experiences a life-threatening accident, a common practice is to share the details of the case with friends and family on social media. You’d want to keep them posted on the news of your accident, your recovery, and other details that might be important to the case. So in this modern age when every other person uses social media to communicate with everyone else, you should be aware that the insurance companies might be watching too.
Details, even remotely related to your case, posted on social media can discredit your case in the eyes of the court.
A take-home message:
Hence, the injury claim process, as practiced by personal injury law, is not a straightforward case at all. You need to be aware of the claimable offenses, your entitlement to compensations for your injuries, and the most commonly made mistakes so you can avoid them when claiming a personal injury.