6 Mistakes To Avoid When You File A Personal Injury Claim

Dec 18, 2023

Dealing with an unexpected injury can be an overwhelming and bleak experience, especially if it was caused by someone else’s negligence. Whether you sustained injuries from a car crash, slip-and-fall, dog bite, or other source, there is more than just your physical health and well-being at stake; you might also be suffering from some mental or emotional trauma, struggling to return to work, missing the wages you rely on to support yourself and your family, and more. 

While filing a personal injury claim may give you a financial lifeline, navigating the legal landscape alone can be daunting, and insurance companies are notorious for paying you less than you deserve (or denying your claims altogether). Your chances of getting paid are significantly reduced if you slip up and commit a detrimental error, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the 6 most crucial mistakes to avoid when filing a personal insurance claim. 

Mistake #1: Not Seeking Medical Attention

Unfortunately, many people experience a rush of adrenaline after an accident that may mask their injuries and give them the false impression that there’s no need for them to seek medical attention. It is crucial that you do, no matter how perfectly fine you feel or think you are! Many injuries – such as internal bleeding or concussions – don’t present themselves immediately, so you risk delayed treatment by choosing not to be examined. 

Moreover, by seeking medical attention, any injuries you do have will be documented, adding legitimacy to your personal injury claims. You will not be able to file a claim for injuries that were not confirmed by a medical professional. If you do turn out to be perfectly healthy, then you haven’t lost anything but an hour of your time, so it’s best to go to the hospital or your doctor’s office as soon as possible. 

Mistake #2: Ignoring Your Doctor’s Orders And Failing To Follow Your Treatment Plan

Likewise, be sure to do exactly what you’re told by said medical professional. They may recommend that you have surgery, attend physical therapy, take certain prescription medicines, or more. In order to have the most effective and timely recovery, it’s vital that you follow your treatment plan closely. Additionally, you add even more legitimacy to your claims when you do so.

Mistake #3: Delaying Securing Aggressive Legal Representation

It is not in your best interest to handle a personal injury claim on your own, so it’s imperative that you seek an attorney as soon as you are able. You’ll want to choose one that has considerable experience in going up against the insurance companies and a history of procuring maximum settlements for their clients. As already covered, insurance companies are notorious for denying your claims or paying you the bare minimum – an amount that doesn’t even scratch the surface of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial penalties you suffered as a result of your accident. 

Personal injury attorneys are skilled at negotiating a higher payout for you, and facing them head-to-head in court when they resist. But it can be difficult to try and navigate this complex legal domain on your own, so an attorney is who you want on your side, guiding your every decision. 

Mistake #3: Waiting Too Long To File

Waiting too long to file is an unfortunate reason for you not to be able to recover the damages you deserve. However, in California, there is a statute of limitations on the allotted amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim after an incident occurs.

According to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, or if the injury was not discovered right away, one year from the date of the discovery. Failing to adhere to those timelines will likely prohibit you from being able to file a lawsuit. 

Mistake #4: Posting To Your Social Media Accounts

It’s best to avoid using social media altogether as your personal injury case plays out. If quitting cold-turkey simply isn’t feasible for you, exercise the utmost caution with your posts, especially photos and videos. You’ll also need to tell others explicitly what they are allowed to share about your or “tag” you in. While you might believe that your profiles are secure due to privacy settings, remember that nothing on the internet can ever be entirely concealed.

Such content could potentially jeopardize your claims and raise doubts about the severity of your injuries. It’s wiser to err on the side of caution to prevent seemingly innocent posts, like a photo in a park, from being used against you and preventing you from getting the compensation you deserve. You’ll also want to abstain from making any posts directly related to or discussing your accident. 

Even if you think you’re choosing your words carefully and only saying the “right” things, it’s in your best interest to remain silent on the matter and allow your lawyer to do all the talking when the time comes. 

Mistake #5: Accepting The First Offer You Get Without Allowing Your Attorney Ample Time To Fight For What You Deserve

When you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the at-fault individual or their insurance is expected to cover any expenses you incur as a result. However, this expectation doesn’t guarantee their willingness to do so. In reality, most insurance companies will make strenuous efforts to reject or undervalue your injury claims so that they won’t lose any money.

Nevertheless, there are instances where their attempts are unsuccessful, and they are compelled to propose a settlement – which is likely to fall significantly short of adequately compensating you for your injuries. They are famous for lowballing you and hoping you’ll take less than what you deserve out of fear or extreme financial desperation, and you must not fall for it!

This undermines the importance of having a personal injury attorney who can advocate for the highest possible compensation on your behalf. Don’t settle for an amount that doesn’t rightfully reflect the extent of your injuries!

The Karpel Law Firm Is In Your Corner

Don’t let the insurance company intimidate you or devalue your pain and suffering. Our attorney team has over 70 years of collective experience and a proven track record of guiding our clients to the best possible outcome. We are AV® Preeminent Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and have been awarded California Super Lawyers for 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Your case is in good hands with us! Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.