Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one sustains an injury caused by another individual, business, or entity, you need to know how to recover compensation for your losses. Most personal injury claims in Illinois are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. However, some injury claims are only resolved after a lawsuit is filed in civil court. Here, we want to discuss the main mistakes that you need to avoid when going through any type of personal injury claim.
1. Forgetting That You Will Be Investigated
Even if you were not at fault for the incident that caused your injury, you need to understand that you will still face an investigation for the incident. Insurance carriers and attorneys for the at-fault party will look for any reason not to pay compensation to you. This will include digging into every statement that you make related to the incident as well as your pre-existing injuries.
If you have made an injury claim in Illinois, we recommend that you avoid doing any type of strenuous activity, like swimming in a pool, playing any type of sports, or even doing yard work. You never know when you are being watched, and your activity could be reported back to the insurance carrier.
2. Discussing The Case With Others
Injury victims have to be very guarded about who they discuss their case with. Yes, you can tell your attorney anything about your claim, but statements made to insurance carriers for the at-fault party or attorneys for the other side should be guarded or not happen at all. Any person who contacts you for information related to the case should be routed to your attorney.
3. Using Social Media
It can seem like second nature to jump on social media to discuss various aspects of our lives. In fact, you will see an abundance of individuals who get into vehicle accidents immediately post to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or YouTube. You need to avoid posting any information about a vehicle accident or your injury on social media. Regardless of how tempting it can be to post this information, you need to understand that anything you say in these videos/photos or in any type of written statement online could be used against you by insurance carriers or the at-fault party.
4. Signing the Wrong Forms
It is not uncommon for the at-fault party’s insurance carrier to ask you to sign a release form so that they can obtain your medical records. This may seem reasonable, particularly if they need to verify your injuries so they can pay compensation. However, please understand that you do not need to sign over records related to all of your past medical histories. Any release of medical records to the other side should be specifically related to the date when the injury occurs through when your treatment for the injury ended.
Additionally, individuals should never sign a settlement agreement until after they have reached maximum medical improvement. If a settlement is signed before all medical care is completed, there will be no way to go back and reopen the case to obtain more compensation if the injuries are worse than initially thought.
5. Discontinuing Medical Care
Individuals must continue all medical care recommended by their doctors until they have reached maximum medical improvement. If an individual decides not to continue care, for whatever reason, this could be taken as assigned by the at-fault party and their insurance carriers that the injuries are not as severe as initially claimed. This can dramatically affect the outcome of an injury settlement or jury verdict.