When a person suffers from an injury as a result of an accident caused by the direct action or inaction of a third party, they are liable to seek compensation from the third party. Usually, the claims made are resolved without a need for a trial but some still find themselves in the corridors of justice, especially after a disagreement. The aggrieved parties then seek legal redress by filing a personal injury claim lawsuit. The lawsuit is filed in the courts that serve the jurisdiction where the alleged injury is said to have occurred. If, for example, the injury occurred in South Australia, the defendant may seek the services of a personal injury lawyer in Adelaide to assist in filing the suit.
Personal injury clients are legal clients who have sought the services of a personal injury attorney in making a claim for compensation from insurance companies or third parties in a court of law. When seeking legal redress, personal injury clients make some mistakes as highlighted below:
1. Thinking the insurance company is on their side
When negotiating a settlement, the personal injury client might think that the insurance company will indemnify them and work in their best interest to ensure they get the right value as compensation for their claim. In truth, insurance companies will always try as much as possible to maximize profits. This means they’ll pay the lowest amount possible as compensation.
2. Failing to keep evidence
When making the claim for compensation, evidence such as hospital invoices and therapist receipts are an essential guide in making a valuation for cost of the injury. Poor record keeping is a fatal blow to a successful settlement and many personal injury claimants are victims of this. In court, the pure assertion of a cost without necessarily producing documented evidence is fruitless.
3. Assuming all lawyers are the same
Different lawyers are skilled in different categories of law just the same as different specialised doctors treat different parts of the body. A family lawyer might choose to settle for a low pay out owing to experiences in compromise. A personal injury lawyer, however, would have chosen to sue. Just because someone is a lawyer doesn’t make them suitable to handle personal injury claim cases and clients should be encouraged to seek the job-specific professional.
4. Settling claims too soon
Sometimes, the effects of an injury are extended and this might prove problematic in the event where a settlement was made too soon. A rule of thumb in settling claims is that you should only settle your claims after full recovery in order to capture every single cost associated with the injury.
5. Not hiring a lawyer
When negotiating a settlement with an insurance company, the company might want the client to forego the option of seeking legal advice with the promise of a larger pay out and quick expedition of the process. This is usually a grave mistake since the insurance company will use the clients lack of legal information to settle for the least payable amount.
6. Assuming their legal counsel is working on their case as a priority.
Most personal injury accident lawyers are usually swamped with claims from other clients, usually injuries caused by road accidents. As such, you might not be on top of their minds every time. As such, always follow-up on the status of your case to ensure your claims are expedited in a timely manner.
7. Assuming it will be easy.
Settling of claims has its complexities and being treated with the seriousness it deserves will aid in settling the claim.