personal injury claim

Common Mistakes People Make When Filing A Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury claims are a legal process through which individuals seek compensation for injuries sustained due to someone else’s negligence. While this may seem straightforward, many people make critical mistakes during the filing process that can jeopardize their chances of receiving fair compensation. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes individuals make when filing a personal injury claim and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Lack of Documentation

One of the most significant mistakes people make when filing a personal injury claim is failing to gather and preserve crucial documentation. This documentation includes medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any other evidence that supports your claim. Without proper documentation, it becomes challenging to prove the extent of your injuries and the liability of the responsible party.

Tips for Documentation:

  • Keep a File: Create a file to organize all documents related to your injury, including medical bills, correspondence with insurance companies, and receipts for expenses incurred.
  • Take Photos: If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage immediately following the incident.
  • Obtain Witnesses: Collect contact information from witnesses who can provide statements corroborating your version of events.

Delay in Seeking Medical Treatment

Another common mistake is delaying or forgoing medical treatment after an injury. Some individuals may underestimate the severity of their injuries or hope that the pain will resolve on its own. However, delaying medical treatment not only jeopardizes your health but also weakens your personal injury claim.

Importance of Prompt Medical Treatment:

  • Documented Injuries: Prompt medical treatment ensures that your injuries are documented by healthcare professionals, which strengthens your claim.
  • Prevents Further Damage: Seeking timely medical care can prevent your injuries from worsening and mitigate long-term complications.
  • Establishes Causation: Medical records serve as evidence linking your injuries to the accident, establishing causation, and liability.

Giving Recorded Statements Without Legal Counsel

Insurance companies often request recorded statements from claimants shortly after an accident. While it may seem harmless to provide a statement, doing so without legal counsel from experts like vbr Lawyers can be detrimental to your case. Insurance adjusters may use your words against you to minimize or deny your claim.

Why Legal Counsel is Essential:

  • Protects Your Rights: An attorney can advise you on your legal rights and ensure that you do not say anything that could harm your case.
  • Negotiation Power: Legal representation provides leverage during negotiations with insurance companies, increasing the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
  • Avoids Pitfalls: Attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies to undervalue claims and can help you avoid common pitfalls.

Accepting the First Settlement Offer

Many individuals make the mistake of accepting the first settlement offer from an insurance company without fully understanding the extent of their injuries or consulting with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies often make lowball settlement offers in the hopes of resolving the claim quickly and minimizing their financial liability.

Importance of Evaluating Settlement Offers:

  • Full Compensation: Accepting a premature settlement offer may result in inadequate compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages.
  • Consultation with an Attorney: A personal injury attorney can assess the value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement.
  • Consider Future Damages: Settlement offers should account for future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from the injury.

Failing to Mitigate Damages

Another common mistake is failing to take reasonable steps to mitigate damages following an injury. This includes seeking appropriate medical treatment, following your healthcare provider’s recommendations, and minimizing financial losses resulting from the injury.

Tips for Mitigating Damages:

  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to your healthcare provider’s treatment plan and attend all follow-up appointments to facilitate your recovery.
  • Document Expenses: Keep records of all expenses related to your injury, including medical bills, prescription costs, and transportation expenses for medical appointments.
  • Maintain Employment: If possible, return to work as soon as your healthcare provider clears you to do so to mitigate lost wages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I file a personal injury claim if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Yes, you may still be eligible to file a personal injury claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault, depending on the laws of the state where the accident occurred.

2. How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim varies by state and type of injury. In most states, the statute of limitations ranges from one to six years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. It’s crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you file within the applicable time frame.

3. What types of damages can I recover in a personal injury claim?

In a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover various types of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and property damage. The specific damages available depend on the circumstances of your case and the laws of the jurisdiction where the claim is filed.

4. Do I need to go to court to resolve my personal injury claim?

Not necessarily. Many personal injury claims are resolved through settlement negotiations with insurance companies, avoiding the need for a trial. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, litigation may be necessary. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.

5. How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. If you receive a settlement or judgment in your favour, your attorney will typically receive a percentage of the compensation as their fee. This fee structure allows individuals to pursue legal action without upfront costs or financial risk.


Filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and daunting process, but avoiding common mistakes can significantly improve your chances of success. By documenting your injuries, seeking prompt medical treatment, obtaining legal counsel, evaluating settlement offers carefully, and mitigating damages, you can navigate the claims process more effectively and secure the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a qualified personal injury attorney to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation.

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