When you've been injured due to negligence by another party, the most important thing is getting well. In most cases, that means getting the money you need to pay hospital bills, lost wages and rehab. Unfortunately, three big mistakes can get between you and your settlement.
Here are the three biggest mistakes people make in personal injury cases:
- Waiting too long. Each statehas differentstatutes of limitations. Depending on how you were injured, such as in a car accident or in a slip and fall, you have different periods of time to file a claim. You need to make a claim as soon as you are injured, because you don't know the full extent of the injury. Some injuries are readily apparent. Other injuries show themselves over time. If you wait until you are in a great deal of pain or are facing huge medical bills to make a claim, it may be too late.
- Settling too early. You may have the urge to settle your claim as soon as possible when you're facing mounting medical bills. But if you settle a claim before you have reached maximum medical improvement, you have no idea what your future damages are. Future damages include medical costs, lost wages, and lost quality of life. Your settlement will be much different if you are back to normal in six months than if you will need ongoing rehab, pain management, or surgeries to maintain quality of life.
- Talking to the defendant's insurer. Chances are the defendant's insurer is going to want to talk to you as soon as possible to start discussing a settlement. Understand that this is generally not in your best interest. Do not discuss your case, and do not make small talk. Most of all, do not sign anything that will release your wage information or medical records to the defendant's insurer.
- At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.