Personal injury covers everything from physical to psychological illnesses, and in extreme cases can result in death. Examples of personal injuries include physical injuries sustained at work, psychological illnesses caused by stress at work, any injuries sustained in traffic accidents, an injury caused as a result of faulty goods or services, and injuries sustained as a victim of a crime. If you find yourself the victim of a personal injury, be sure not to make any of these common mistakes.
Giving the Insurance Company a ‘Recorded Statement’
Providing a recorded statement after an accident is a bad idea, particularly if you have yet to speak to a lawyer. The representatives of insurance companies are highly skilled and trained to manipulate you into either saying things that are either detrimental to your case or painting them in such a way as to make it hard to claim on. You may not be aware that the exact same sequence of events worded in two different ways can represent a successful and non-successful insurance claim. Keep in mind that insurance companies do this every single day and are very adept at it, whereas you may well have never been through the process of claiming before. Always consult with an attorney before giving any kind of written or recorded statement to an insurance company.
Agreeing to See a ‘Company Doctor’
The insurance companies involved in your case will often imply that you should, or even must, see the doctor they select. This is not true, and you can, in fact, see any doctor you choose following your accident. Insurance companies rely on people not knowing that this will always hurt their case for a claim. The doctors chosen by the insurance companies are paid by the insurance companies and so are much more likely to give a diagnosis that supports the insurance company’s preferred version of events.
Settling Their Case Without Consulting with a Lawyer
Insurance companies hope that victims won’t consult a lawyer. A lawyer will be far more well versed on your rights than you are likely to be. Even after an initial settlement offer from the insurance company, it is still in their interests to minimize your injuries and their impact on your day to day life. Their primary concern is their bottom line. They will nearly always offer an amount of money that will seem attractive and fair to the victim, but is many times lower than they know the victim deserves.
You should always consult with a lawyer and have them evaluate your case on the basis of the findings of an independent doctor. Going through a lawyer is also an advantage because should you have to take an insurance company to court and lose you will likely need to consult a criminal appeals lawyer to help with your case.
If you find yourself the victim of an injury that isn’t your fault, remember that you may well be entitled to compensation. The job of insurance companies is to keep you from receiving this compensation. By following the above advice, you will maximize your chances of a good and fair settlement.