Mistake #1 — Failing to Make Distinctions
It would be prudent to remember that each law firm is different from the next. The tendency is for people to take the law firm provided by the insurance company. However, this isn’t always the most beneficial move. Always do a background check and question their capabilities. If you are not satisfied, then hunt for another firm. There are probably a number of them in your city. Scour the Web for their websites and see whether they are good for your type of case. Set up a meeting if possible to tell them about your situation and gauge their competence. Ask pertinent questions such as their current workload and their ability to help you. Some firms take on hundreds of clients to maximize revenue even if they are understaffed. Their ability to provide quality service is compromised. You have the freedom to choose your law firm. Exercise your right to competent representation.
Mistake #2 — Trusting a Novice
Once you have found a good firm, make sure that you pick a capable lawyer from it to personally handle your case. It should be someone who has the skills and experience necessary to get the best possible outcome. It would be hard to trust a novice when there is so much at stake. “You also have to be certain that you are dealing with a specialist in personal injury.” states Rodney Okano. “Don’t ask someone whose expertise is in real estate or corporate law to represent you. See if they have gotten cases similar to yours in the past.”
Mistake #3 — Settling Right Away
Experienced lawyers will advise against this as it puts the client at a disadvantage. The extent of the damage and the cost of full recovery will probably be unclear at the outset. It is likely that the settlement reached will underestimate the actual needs in the long run. The money, no matter how big it might seem, can quickly run out and there will be nothing left to continue the treatments. Remember that settlements cannot be changed once they are signed and approved unless otherwise specified in the documents or you can prove that you have received bad advice from your lawyer. Talk to your doctor to estimate the length of time necessary to recover from the injuries so that you can plan. Will things start to normalize in six months, one year, or longer?
Mistake #4 — Tackling the Process without a Lawyer
Don’t go into battle by yourself. Lawyers are armed with the legal knowledge that you can use to get more in compensation, avoid being undervalued and get everything released as quickly as possible. People who use lawyers are known to get better outcomes. Knowing this, some insurance companies will encourage individuals to settle without one by their side. It allows them to pay less and keep more money in their coffers. They might tell people that lawyers will only complicate matters and make it more expensive, but that is not true. A lawyer can double or even triple what insurers initially offer depending on the situation.
Mistake #5 — Neglecting to Save Financial Records
The cost can mount pretty quickly when you are injured. These financial losses can only be recovered if you can prove that they happened. Therefore, you must keep every record of payment and make notes about them so that you won’t forget. If you had to pay for medical treatments, laboratory tests, mobility tools, and therapy services, then hold on to the receipts. If your properties were damaged in the incident, then you may have to present evidence that these are indeed yours. An assessment of the necessary repairs and their cost from a competent professional will also help. Nothing is too small to overlook as many of these things add up to a significant value over time. A lawyer can tell you about what you can include and what you may leave out. You can also compute the amount that you can claim.
Mistake #6 — Provide an Incomplete Picture to the Doctors
Healthcare professionals can only help you if you provide them with accurate and complete information about your condition. If you have observed any symptoms, then tell them all about these so that they could diagnose your condition correctly and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Their medical report will be crucial in making your claim. If an issue is not specified in the report, then it may not be eligible for compensation. You may also have a harder time trying to recover since there are problems that are left treated. Give the doctors all the information that they might need to get things right from the start so that you won’t have to deal with complications later on. Nothing is too trivial. What might seem like a minor annoyance could be a clue to a deeper problem.