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If you’ve seen all the television ads, you might believe that making a personal injury claim is easy. But this isn’t usually the case. While some claims are fairly straightforward, many have complexities due to the nature of the specific case. 

There are many pitfalls to avoid when making a personal injury claim, whether it’s after a motor vehicle accident, a workplace accident, medical negligence or even a slip and fall in a public place. 

Here are 5 of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re making a personal injury claim for compensation – and how you can avoid them.

Common mistakes people make when making a claim

 

1. Not getting medical attention

A major mistake that people make after they suffer a personal injury is not getting medical attention immediately. Being able to prove the extent of your injuries and their ongoing effect on your life is key to a successful case.

Without medical evidence, such as medical reports and treatment expense receipts, it’s very hard to prove that you’re entitled to compensation. Always seek medical help immediately after a suffering a personal injury.

2. Not collecting enough/the right evidence

Medical evidence is only one type of evidence that you need to build a strong case for a personal injury claim. Many people fail to provide enough or the right type of evidence to prove what they’re entitled to.

For example, a police report about a motor vehicle accident can be vital. Or correspondence to and from an employer after a workplace accident. Eyewitness statements, bills, video, photos, emails and other records are also important.

You should also keep notes about the incident yourself. Don’t forget to record names, dates, times and locations related to the incident, and what happened before and after your injury.

All this evidence will help to support your personal injury claim.

3. Waiting too long to make a personal injury claim

It’s best to get started on making a personal injury claim as soon as possible after your injury. Unfortunately, many people delay making a claim and then miss important deadlines. This leaves them without financial support unnecessarily.

There are several reasons not to wait too long to make your claim:

  • There are strict timeframes for submitting documentation for your claim.
  • It takes time to gather all the required evidence to prove your claim.
  • Insurer negotiations can take time, with a lot of back and forth between parties.
  • You could end up going to court, which will make the process even longer.

Some people delay because they think they don’t have a case, while others believe the process will be onerous. But a personal injury lawyer can take on the hard tasks on your behalf – while you focus on your recovery.

4. Settling too early

One of the biggest mistakes we see people make with their personal injury claim is accept a settlement offer too quickly. It may look like the easier option to accept the first offer, but it may not reflect the full value of what you’re entitled to.

Insurers want to settle claims quickly and for as little as possible. But you do need to wait until your injuries – whether physical or psychological – have fully recovered to see how those injuries will affect your quality of life, earning capacity and ability to do daily tasks.

Once you accept a settlement offer, you can’t usually return later if your injuries are actually worse that you thought. So you must get it right the first time when making a personal injury claim.

5. Assuming they don’t have a case

Unfortunately, this is very common. People suffer a personal injury – due to a fall on public transport or a car accident with another driver – and decide whether they’re eligible to make a claim before they know all the facts.

They assume either the injury isn’t serious enough or the incident was partly their fault and therefore they’re not eligible for compensation.

But if they don’t get professional help – both medical assistance and legal advice – they won’t really know for sure. Even if they were partly responsible (i.e. contributory negligence’), they may be eligible for a percentage of the compensation. And a doctor might find that the injury is more serious than they thought. You should never assume until you find out.

How to avoid these mistakes

The key to avoiding mistakes is simple – find out all your options and don’t try to do it yourself.

The insurer’s job is to minimise their liability as much as possible, so they will try to settle a claim early and tell you it’s not worth getting legal help. But trying to deal directly with an insurer could be your biggest mistake of all! 

A personal injury lawyer will make sure you know all your options so you can make an informed decision and get the compensation you’re entitled to. But when is the best time to get legal help?

businessman explains form to client

When to seek the help of a lawyer

Not getting early legal advice about a personal injury claim is another mistake we see people make. Often, they come to us after their claim has been rejected or when their settlement offer is far too low.

We’ve seen people who are unhappy with a compensation offer take their case to court without help and end up in a worse position – getting a smaller settlement and owing huge court fees!

Don’t wait until it’s too late to bring in professional help. Having a personal injury lawyer by your side from the start means you’ll collect the right evidence, submit the correct paperwork, meet your timeframes at every stage and have the best chance at a successful outcome.

How Main Lawyers can help

When you need to make a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand the process and all the pitfalls. Our experienced legal team will give you all the information you need and work on your behalf throughout the whole journey.

Let us do the hard work while you focus on your recovery. Contact us today to book in a free consultation.

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