If you’ve suffered severe injury, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Many times the at-fault party refuses to take responsibility. Pursuing the matter can get very complicated, so you’ll probably want to consult a lawyer. However, for the best chances of success in your case, there are certain things you should and should not do.
Don’t Discuss the Case with the at-Fault Investigators
You may be contacted by an investigator from the at-fault party’s insurers soon after the injury occurs. They’ll tell you they’re gathering information and may even insist that you answer questions before they’ll process the claim. You can and should cooperate with your own insurance company, but never divulge any information to other parties. You are not legally obligated to discuss the incident with them.
Don’t Sign Any Paperwork
These “investigators” may ask you to sign documents claiming they are important to resolution of the case. These documents may be, or include, waivers, releases, incriminating statements, or other content that could jeopardize a future lawsuit if it bears your own signature. Never sign anything presented by the opposition without having an attorney review it first.
Don’t Negotiate on Your Own
Don’t accept any deals without your lawyer’s approval. Often at-fault attorneys know they can’t win the case so they offer an amount that’s far less than what you might be awarded in court. It may sound attractive at the time if you really need some cash. But rest assured that the opposition is looking for fast and cheap way out. Don’t make it easy for them.
Do Find Legal Help
To get the compensation you deserve, find an experienced personal injury lawyer. Ask about how many cases similar to you own that they’ve tried and won, and how they expect to be compensated. If you’ve been injured on the job and are denied benefits, you’ll want to seek worker’s compensation lawyers. But without legal help, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage in preparing your case and handling any negotiations.
Do Save All Documentation
This includes any photos, medical diagnoses, bills, police reports, work estimates, and the names of any potential witnesses or other third parties involved. Also save any communications from the at-fault party or their agents. Jot down anything that seems important. While your attorney will help prepare your case, it could be difficult weeks or months later. You can help the claim along by gathering and keeping all the relevant evidence that you can. Make copies and leave them with trusted friends or relatives in case the originals are lost or damaged.
If you follow these five tips, they’ll keep you from making serious errors that could ruin your chances. While an attorney may seem drastic or expensive, it’s better than suffering and coming away with nothing.