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  • Common Personal Injury Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Claim

    Common Personal Injury Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Claim

    A guide to filing a personal injury claim and important mistakes to avoid

    Making a personal injury claim can be a very stressful process. Having a lists of steps to follow before you begin can save you a lot of time, money, and worry. In a personal injury case, your medical records are essential and detailed documentation is critical.

    If you have a workers’ compensation claim for instance, the insurance company will only compensate for your medical treatment if the medical documentation supports your claim.

    Moreover, if your claim goes to trial, your doctor’s testimony will be required. Your doctor will most likely stick to the details recorded in the medical records.

    In other words, reliable documentation that backs up your claim is required for just about every stage of the process.

    As your doctor has all the records of your medical history, treatment, and condition, it is imperative that you are being honest.

    Also, make sure that you choose a competent and empathetic doctor you know will be an honest and reliable witness for your case. Do not make the mistake of not communicating clearly regarding your injuries and treatment as this could affect your personal injury claims and trials.

    When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, there are several crucial steps that must be taken to ensure a smooth and successful process. Personal injury claims arise when individuals suffer harm due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. These claims can cover a wide range of incidents, including car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and more.

    Listed down below are some of the most common mistakes that you should avoid when receiving medical treatment for a personal injury claim:

    1. Waiting Too Long Before Seeking Medical Treatment

    The worst thing that you can do is not seek medical treatment right away. This is a huge problem as you run the risk of both the insurance company and the jury not taking your claim seriously or doubting the seriousness of your injuries.

    They may think: “If he/she was badly hurt, then he/she would have gone to the doctor sooner.” The defense attorney will certainly use this during the trial as well.

    Even worse, the doctor is less likely to testify in your favor as they would find it difficult to relate a medical problem to the preceding accident as you have waited too long. Therefore, it is vitally important that you go to the doctor to get yourself checked soon after your accident.

    2. Attempting to file after the statute of limitations expires

    Each state has a statute of limitations, which sets a strict deadline for filing a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations also varies depending on the type of personal injury case. Missouri’s personal injury statute of limitations, for instance, is 5 years for car accidents and 2 years for workers’ compensation.

    We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to be aware of this deadline and file your claim within the specified time frame. Failing to do so can result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation for your injuries.

    3. Not Going to Medical Appointments or Missing Treatments

    Another major mistake that you want to avoid when making a personal injury claim is missing your medical appointments or treatments.

    This will undoubtedly sit poorly with your doctor, and as we mentioned previously, their testimony is crucial to your claim’s success. Unexplained absences will make people, including the medical staff and jury, think that you did not care enough about getting better, or worse, you are not seriously injured.

    With missed appointments, people will be less likely to believe you when you talk about your pain and symptoms. If you truly cannot make it to your appointment, make sure that you inform the clinic about your situation.

    This is so that you can maintain a good relationship with the medical staff as well as your credibility.

    Even if the pain has subsided or your begin to feel better, your focus should still be on following your doctor’s orders and taking the proper steps to both recovering and document your injury.

    4. Attempting to Hide Your Medical History

    It is vital that your doctor knows about your health history so they can accurately diagnosis your injury or illness.

    This goes for any injury or illness, but it is especially important when you are making a personal injury claim. Your clinic may ask you to complete a health history form, and the best thing that you can do is be honest.

    It is critical that you are being as transparent as possible, even if it means that you have to let your doctor know about your pre-accident health issues that can be linked with your injury from the accident. The last thing you want to do is look like you have intentionally tried to deceive the court to strengthen your case.

    Just like your personal injury lawyer, the defense attorney will undoubtedly do their research into your medical history. Tell your doctor about any pain, illnesses, or symptoms prior to the accident.

    In sum, your medical history is essential to your treatment and claim, and there is no point in lying to anyone as the truth will eventually be brought to light.

    5. Not keeping proper records or documenting evidence

    Preserving evidence is paramount when building a strong personal injury claim. This includes taking photographs of the accident scene, any visible injuries, property damage, and obtaining contact information from witnesses.

    This can be difficult at times as there are likely many other things on your mind. As we detail in number 6 below, a personal injury attorney can make a significant impact when it comes to maximizing your personal injury compensation.

    6. Failing to hire a personal injury attorney

    Not only do we advise you speak with a personal injury attorney, we recommend doing so as soon as possible. Speaking with a personal injury attorney right away can have a significant impact on your case. understand the significance of gathering evidence promptly and preserving its integrity, as it can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

    Finding a personal injury attorney for your case

    Attempting to handle a personal injury claim without legal representation can be a costly mistake. Personal injury law is complex, and insurance companies have teams of lawyers working to protect their interests. To level the playing field and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, we strongly advise seeking the guidance of a skilled personal injury attorney. An attorney will understand the intricacies of the legal process, help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court.

    We are personal injury attorneys in St. Louis, but we have helped people around the State of Missouri and Southern Illinois receive millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.