4 Things That Could Derail Your Personal Injury Claim
Slip-ups in a court of law can mess up a personal injury claim in a hurry. So, when you’re the one filing a lawsuit for damages from an injury, you need to make sure you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s. Be aware of the following caveats.
Not Telling the Truth
Yes, you will need to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It’s the law. And if you break that law, you could end up having your case thrown out, or worse, you could end up contemplating your deeds behind bars. It’s not a pretty scenario. You don’t need to tell your personal injury lawyer your entire life story, but you do need to tell him about everything relating to your case. This includes prior injuries and accidents. He will then know how to help you more effectively.
Not Documenting the Incident
Having documentation, such as receipts, records, pictures, witness statements, and the like, is imperative to a successful claim. And if you were injured in a car accident, assault, or some other type of incident that should be reported to the authorities, you’ll need to file a police report. Of course, if the injury was severe enough that you weren’t conscious or weren’t capable of gathering evidence, you will need to get some of your records from others who were there.
Not Filing Soon Enough
In the legal world, there is something called a statute of limitations. Every state sets its own rules for how soon a claim needs to be filed. This can be anywhere from one year to six years, depending on the state. For personal injury claims, the statute of limitations begins from the date of the incident or the date that the injury was discovered. For instance, in one case, a surgeon accidentally left a bandage in the abdomen of a patient. It wasn’t discovered until years later during another surgery. This type of claim would go by the “discovery of harm” date.
Talking About Your Claim
You should only discuss your case with your personal injury lawyer. Insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, and the like will probably be contacting you to get information from you about your claim. Always refer them to your attorney. This is important. This also includes not posting about it on social media. For instance, if you filed a workman’s compensation claim for a hurt shoulder at work, then bragged on social media about how you were going to the gym to lift weights, this could be held against you in court (i.e. were you really injured?) Cases have been lost because of social media posts.
If you’re going to the trouble of finding a personal injury lawyer and filing a claim, you don’t want to mess it up with a reckless or negligent mistake. You want to get paid so you can pay that hefty hospital bill.