Common Mistakes In Personal Injury Cases
The Shirvanian Law Firm, APLC is often contacted by clients who seek advice regarding what to do after a car accident or slip and fall injury. Whether you have been injured in a car accident or a slip and fall, this article will provide you with information regarding some of the common mistakes we have seen in personal injury cases.
The insurance company places its own business interests above your claim such that often times your pain and suffering and loss of income claims are ignored.
Call the Police
The first thing you should do if you are involved in a car accident is to call the police. This will ensure the car accident is immediately investigated and the reporting officer prepares a police report. The officer’s report will serve two very important functions. First, it will document all the necessary information regarding the accident, such as the parties involved, the automobiles involved, and any third-party witnesses who were present at the accident scene. Secondly, the officer’s report will make a preliminary determination of the “at-fault” party. Although this in and of itself is not conclusive at trial, the officer’s determination will make proving liability easier in case the other driver denies liability or contests your claim.
The Recorded Statement
Don’t talk to an insurance company and give a recorded statement without consulting with an attorney. Giving a recorded statement over the phone, without seeking immediate legal representation immediately is a huge mistake. The insurance company will elicit responses from you that may be detrimental to your case and having a lawyer represent you to advise you of your legal rights before giving a statement, or a deposition during litigation, is very important to the success of your case.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you are injured in an automobile accident it is not only important to seek immediate medical attention, but also to follow your doctor’s treatment program. This includes seeking orthopedic evaluations, physical therapy, pain management, and specialty medical evaluations for complex injuries. Failing to get help immediately after your accident will negatively impact not only your health, but also your case. Insurance companies view gaps between the date of accident and your first treatment date as evidence that you were either not injured or your injuries are not severe. The theory is that if your injuries were “real,” then you would have sought immediate medical attention. Therefore, it is imperative that you seek medical attention care immediately following your accident.
Negotiating a Settlement Without an Attorney
Insurance companies won’t tell you this, but not having an attorney represent you adversely impacts the settlement value of your case. The insurance company places its own business interests above your claim such that often times your pain and suffering and loss of income claims are ignored. Having an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from The Shirvanian Law Firm represent you will avoid this pitfall and get you all the money you deserve.