We are often asked about personal injury lawsuits in terms of the ‘risk factors’ and what can create problems when proving a personal injury claim through some negligent or reckless act or omission.
The legal system can throw up various complications that lead to confusion for those seeking compensation for personal injury (quite apart form other areas of law) and so we wanted an experienced attorney to tell us what those areas of complication are – and how they can be best avoided. Most personal injury claims result in settlements, rather than trials, and that trend is continuing as recent articles have indicated that around 95 per cent of cases are settled, notwithstanding the headline-making trial verdicts that get handed down from time to time.
In doing so we spoke with Milwaukee personal injury attorneys at NicoletLaw.com who provided an outline of the best way to receive the appropriate level of financial compensation following an injury and how to help your attorney build a case that will lead to a fair settlement for injuries.
Given that there are somewhere between 300,000 to 500,000 personal injury cases in the United States each year, it is important to ensure that the complications around bringing to trial (or settlement) such cases is extremely important.
Why Are Personal Injuries Complicated?
Multiple factors can make it more challenging to win your case and get compensation for various personal injury damages.
1. Failure To Get Treatments in a Timely Manner
It’s crucial to seek medical treatment immediately when you sustain injuries in a car accident, but it is a potential major problem for those who do not do so but seek compensation at a later state.
Too often, those injured through any accident or workplace injury, will remain at home hoping the pain will ease up and continue dealing with the multiple things that busy people need to do in their busy lives, both in the household and/or at work.
An insurance company will use this to its advantage and construe it as optimism that the injuries weren’t really severe. They’ll argue that you don’t need compensation for something that wasn’t severe enough to warrant a hospital visit.
2. Providing Too Much Information
We have all heard the advice from attorneys about ‘not admitting’ anything and not making a statement without your attorney and so forth. When it comes to personal injury situations, it is important to ensure you do not say ‘too much’.
By that we mean that you can seriously complicate your case by making statements, admissions – ‘confessions’ – that will be potentially unhelpful at best or fatal to your claim at worst.
It is a common issue that occurs when people apologize or admit to something that was not their fault, legally or otherwise. This happens with surprising regularity (there have been books written on the psychology of confessions, including ‘false confessions’ and why people make them) and is not something that will help any personal injury claim in future.
So ensure you keep a careful monitor on yourself following the accident or injury event.
3. No Documentation Available
You need to take notes from the beginning and document the sequence of events leading up to, during, and after the accident. Take pictures if you can, and even record videos if possible.
If they aren’t combative, you should gather the insurance and contact information for the person liable for the crash. If there were any witnesses around, ask them for their information if they wouldn’t mind giving a statement.
Keep notes related to any property that got damaged in the process, and don’t throw out receipts related to those damages. Additionally, all medical records should be kept safe for future reference.
Lastly, document the pain you experienced during your road to recovery and any other problems you had after the accident.
Keeping track of all relevent legal documentation can be complicated, but a personal injury attorney can handle all aspects on your behalf.
4. Divulging Too Much Information
Don’t give up too much information when the insurance company calls you. They are inevitably involved in these cases and different states will have different requirements in respect of those experienced in dealing with such claims so do your homework and check for a good attorney, experienced in handling the sort of case you have.
Remember that dealing with ‘friendly’ insurance companies is not necessarily as easy as it may appear. They’ll appear to be friendly, even sympathetic, toward what occurred; however, from the experience of attorneys such as those at Nicolet Law, they are usually only trying to get you to undermine the claim and minimize what happened. So, don’t sign any waivers or releases, either.
5. Not Following Your Treatment Plan
You must follow your medical provider’s instructions when treating you for injuries. If you fail to do this, you could hurt your case as well as harm your healing process and you will also prejudice your case or claim in respect of the accident.
The insurance company will argue that you are not better through your negligence. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and keep a record of your compliance. Record-keeping is extremely important when making any personal injury claim or pursuing recovery for a personal injury situation, so ensure that it is pursued also when it comes to your medical treatment ‘compliance’. Your lawyer and you, as client, will be appreciative of the support it provides for your case.
6. Liability Dispute
If the company or person you blame for the accident says that they weren’t at fault, your claim and the resolution of it will be delayed. The settlement won’t happen until they admit guilt or the court determines they were to blame.
To support your claim, your solicitor will have to collect, prepare and examine the evidence presented by the defendant.
They must present your claim before a judge at a trial and aim to get a decision in your favor. This process takes time, and the more complicated the dispute, the longer the delay will be.
7. Complicated Injuries
For a successful personal injury claim, it’s imperative that a doctor can verify the injuries that you sustain from the accident. They need to declare when these issues got resolved, when they will heal, or if it’s a permanent impairment.
The process gets delayed when the doctor doesn’t feel they can provide an accurate timeline for your recovery. In certain instances, you need further diagnostic testing to understand what to expect. All of this complicates your claim.
The Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If an accident occurs due to someone else’s recklessness, filing a lawsuit can help the injured party receive financial compensation. While filing a personal injury lawsuit is a complex process, having a qualified attorney by your side significantly increases your chances of success, allowing you to recover from your injuries and return to normal life.