Accidents happen all the time and in different places. Be it at work, on a fast lane, in school, in a hospital, or at home. Statistics have shown that the most popular sources of accidents include automobiles, falls, workplace negligence, animal attacks, and even medical malpractice.
Accident statistics show that about half a million claims are filed yearly for injuries in the United States, but only a little over 4% of those make it to a hearing due to some mistakes.
This article discusses some of these mistakes and how to avoid getting a subpar settlement if you find yourself in these shoes.
Absence Of Proper Evidence And Documentation
According to a Dolinsky Law Group Attorney, “proof of cause and fault is vital in winning an accident claim.” Failure to establish the cause of an accident and whose fault it is often means you have no case and would likely end up bearing all the costs associated with that accident.
With technological advancements on the rise, gathering facts and securing evidence to back up your claims has become easier. A mobile phone camera or a dash cam might be sufficient to gather as much proof of occurrence as is needed in your case.
As the common saying goes, “Seeing is believing”, and since justice is blind, your lack of visual evidence only further reduces your chances of making a successful claim.
Pictures, video clips, audio recordings of happenings, accident scenes, witness testimonies, receipts, or invoices, and what have you will all come in handy in staking your claims. Therefore, you should properly document these things and possibly turn them in for safekeeping.
Refusal To Seek Legal Counsel
A big mistake victims often make is waiting until a problem can no longer be solved by their unguided antics and tantrums, before consulting a legal adviser.
This should almost always be your next port of call after seeking medical attention during an accident. A legal counsel is in the best possible position to enlighten you on what to do and how best to do it.
They understand the complexities surrounding such cases and will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. Your complaint would also hold a bigger weight in the eyes of the recipients.
Failure To File All Necessary Complaints To The Authorities Concerned
We live in a world guided by rules and regulations, as well as systems put in place to ensure strict adherence to these rules.
As such, there is a proper channel in every organization or sector through which all forms of displeasure can be reported; from inappropriate behavior to harassment and even accidents.
Therefore, you must channel all grievances to the appropriate quarters as soon as you have a complaint. Failure to do this or delay it may prove troublesome for your claim during a formal investigation.
Failure To Seek Out Medical Attention
In cases of accidents that affect you directly as an individual, the immediate response should be to seek out a medical examination by a licensed specialist.
Aside from the first aid benefits of doing this, you get access to more evidence to back up your accident claims in the form of a doctor’s report.
A doctor’s report will be vital in linking the injuries sustained (if any) to your claims. This greatly increases your chances of a successful lawsuit or insurance claim.
In cases involving private organizations or insurance companies, they usually try to discredit such claims to reduce their chances of paying a huge settlement. However, a medical report covers a large portion of that area.
Premature Acceptance Of “under-the-table” Settlement
Most people often fall victim to this nicely set trap—involving an unofficial or “out-of-court” settlement. This is usually a ploy to reduce the money you will get as a settlement in an official suit.
Unsuspecting persons will be quick to agree and, most times, end up underpaid or not paid at all.
By the time they realize it, a lot of time has passed, and the law is also no longer in their favor. It is thus advisable to avoid rushing too quickly to unofficial settlements.
During an accident case, you must not apologize or use words that may indicate that you accept to be at fault. Even if you believe you caused the accident, avoid saying things that will prove you guilty. Doing this may cause huge damage to your claim.
Besides, it is almost impossible to establish where the fault truly lies during an accident, and accepting to be at fault will put all the blame on you.
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