When you have been injured through the wrongful act of another, it is reasonable to want to maximize the value of your injury claim. The available monetary recovery will only fully compensate an injured person who is diligent in the injury claim process. I often talk with clients about a settlement offer they receive in their injury claim. Or about the risks of trial versus the potential for proving their injury case after the injury lawsuit is filed. And some clients wonder why an offer is lower than they expected. One side of maximizing your claim is not doing the wrong thing over the course of the process.
Don’t Minimize, Maximize the Value of Your Injury Claim
Below is a list of things that people do that cause insurance companies and juries to reduce the amount they award for a person’s losses. People mostly don’t understand the way their behaviors are used against them in the personal injury settlement and litigation process.
The more of these things that a person has done the worse off they generally are. Of course, no one factor ruins or “makes” any case. And some have more significant impact than others in a given case. While this list is not exhaustive, it does give an idea of the types of issues people cause for themselves.
So if your settlement offer seems too low, or the jury award seems small, ask yourself if any of these apply to you. Engaging in these types of actions often help explain at least some of the problem.
Avoid These Things To Maximize The Value Of Your Your Injury Claim:
- Fail to seek immediate medical attention;
- Delay treatment even though you have symptoms;
- Decide not to call 911 to get police to the accident scene
- Chose to not file a “walk-in” report of a car wreck if the police did not come to the scene;
- Tell the police or paramedics you are “fine”, and refuse treatment and transport even though you are nervous, shaking, confused or disoriented;
- Don’t record the identity, insurance and vehicle information about the bad guy driver and car;
- Don’t take accident scene photos;
- Don’t get information and names from witnesses;
- Don’t take pictures of visible physical injuries;
- Move the car before police get on the scene;
- Wait to obtain an attorney;
- Give a recorded statement to the bad guy’s insurance company –particularly telling the carrier that you are “fine” or not injured;
- Give their attorney an inaccurate prior injury or collision history;
- Fail to give the doctor an accurate medical, and complete accident and injury history;
- Don’t go for recommended medical treatment or follow-up;
- Miss a doctor’s appointments without a good reason and/or don’t call to cancel appointments;
- Forget to obtain a doctor’s excuse for missed work, even if not required by your employer.
- Don’t report to their employer about the injury accident;
- Don’t keep a record off the time off work including the dates;
- Don’t report ALL symptoms—even minor ones–to the doctor/nurse/physical therapist until them weeks or months later, when they become worse;
- Fail to get medical care for symptoms they experience after discharge from a doctor;
- Fail to take medication as prescribed;
- Report to a doctor you are fully recovered just to get discharged from treatment;
- Fail to give an accurate explanation to your doctor of any aggravation of a pre-existing condition;
- Have any history of “under the table” work or inaccurate income tax filings;
- Not respond to your attorney during the settlement or litigation process;
- Don’t make sure your written “discovery” answer in litigation (Interrogatories and Requests For Production or Admission) are 100% accurate;
- Argue with the lawyer representing the other person in deposition, arbitration, or trial;
- Let a prior injury or accident first come to light during your deposition or trial testimony;
- Fail to communicate with your lawyer about a new medical treatment, physician or tests;
- Allowing medical bills to go into collections by failing to pay health insurance co-pays or deductibles;
- Undertake a long course of treatment with “non-traditional” medicine (Chiropractic, Acupuncture etc.) without referral from a traditional physician;
- Don’t make sure you explain to treating heath care providers about the practical limitations caused by an injury;
- Exaggerate or make misrepresentations at any time in the process.
While these are not, by any means the only issues that impact the value of a claim, they are important things that can do so. As Idaho’s Injury Lawyers our goal is to help people throughout Idaho . Please call if you have any questions about your Boise personal injury claim.
We offer a free case review and evaluation.
And we represent people in personal injury lawsuits in all counties of Idaho for and across the nation.