Sustaining an injury or illness due to someone else’s negligence is often a stressful and frustrating experience. Apart from the pain and discomfort from the injury itself, you will also have to deal with medical bills, insurance claims, and trying to make a living while recovering. Naturally, you will want to receive fair compensation for the trouble that the accident has caused you.
However, not all personal injury cases go smoothly, even with all the evidence stacked against the other party. To maximize your chances of winning the case, it pays to know what can cause you to lose it in the first place.
That said, here are some of the most common reasons why people lose personal injury cases.
Not hiring a lawyer
Acquiring a fair settlement from the other party’s insurance company can be a confusing and daunting process. A lawyer can help you navigate these hoops and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation, which is why it makes sense to hire one even if the case seems simple.
However, don’t just hire any attorney; hire one specializing in the type of accident that occurred. For example, if you got into a fender bender with an 18-wheeler truck, find an 18-wheeler accident lawyer with extensive experience in that particular kind of case.
Exaggerating your injuries
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when filing a personal injury claim is exaggerating your injuries. If you do this and get caught, you will seem dishonest, and the court and the insurance company will start second-guessing everything else you say. As a result, the case may drag on longer than it needs to or worse—you won’t receive the compensation you truly deserve if you even receive any at all.
Remember the number one rule regarding anything that has to do with the law: be truthful.
Posting about your injuries
Another mistake you should avoid when trying to get compensation for your injuries is posting about it on social media. Yes, it is tempting to vent about your feelings on the timeline, but keep in mind that everything you say online can be admissible in court. If, for example, you post about something that contradicts the severity of your injuries (e.g., posting vacation pictures when you state that you have injuries that make it hard to walk), there is a good chance that you will lose the case entirely if the other side presents your post in court.
With this in mind, keep your injuries and any other details of the case off of your timeline, at least until after the case is over, and you receive compensation for the accident.
Lack of documentation
One of the most critical things you need to do in the wake of an accident is to gather as much evidence as possible. Having a well-documented case that clearly shows how the accident happened, why it happened, and who is at fault can push the odds in your favor.
Be proactive and collect as much evidence as possible, such as police reports, medical findings, photographs, witness accounts, video recordings, and receipts.
If you are partially at fault for the accident, you may receive less compensation for the damages. Tell your lawyer if you think you are also to blame for the incident so that they can better prepare in case the other party accuses you of contributory negligence. Although there is often no way around this if you are truly partially at fault, it helps to be prepared with an appropriate response so that you don’t lose the case entirely.
Another thing: be truthful. Don’t try to hide your part in the accident or downplay it. If you get caught lying or keeping vital information, you may not get any compensation at all.
When the court asks you a question, and you don’t know the answer, say that you don’t know. Don’t try to make up an answer or speculate; doing so may hurt your case and pour more difficult questions your way. Instead, decline to comment and discuss with your lawyer what your response should be. It also helps to have thorough discussions with your lawyer before every hearing so that you don’t get caught off-guard with questions from the judge or the other party.
Recovering from an accident is already difficult enough—make it easier for yourself by increasing your chances of winning your personal injury case and receiving compensation for all that you went through, starting by avoiding these common mistakes.