Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes After Suffering a Personal Injury
Suffering a personal injury can be a life-altering experience, both physically and emotionally. While it’s natural to want to move forward as quickly as possible, there are several critical mistakes that individuals often make after a personal injury that can hinder their recovery process.
Knowing the proper steps to take after an injury occurs can mean the difference between getting the resources you need to heal and being left in the cold. Put yourself in the best position to make a complete recovery by avoiding these common post-injury mistakes.
1. Neglecting to get the medical care that you need
The first thing you should do after being injured is to make sure you take care of your physical health! While everything else can be handled in the aftermath, your medical needs are immediate, and you deserve complete and thorough care.
Not getting medical care can lead to complications down the road, which can become even worse when left untreated. No matter how minor your injuries seem or feel, you should always consult a medical professional to address problems that may not seem obvious to the untrained eye.
2. Not documenting everything about the incident that you can
After an injury, you may not be thinking straight. For example, knowing what to do after a car accident is often difficult because you may be in shock, injured, or just too shaken up.
However, it truly helps to get everything recorded that you feasibly can in the moment. If you’re able to, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries at all stages, and any other evidence that may be relevant. When it comes to documentation, the more the better.
If your injury already occurred and you weren’t able to make any records, contact others who may have been at the scene. Any records you can access may play a critical role in earning you what you may be due under the law.
3. Not reporting the incident as soon as you can
It doesn’t matter where your accident occurred: at work, on private property, or in the middle of a busy highway — you should always report it to the proper authorities. Failing to report an injury may result in a negative impact to your ability to recover what you deserve as you heal.
If the injury happened at a business, file an incident report with management immediately. If the injury happened elsewhere and was due in part to someone (or something)’s actions, you should file a police report. If you ever have a question as to whether it’s appropriate to report an injury, always err on the side of reporting.
4. Delaying contacting an experienced attorney to fight for you
The person (or company) who caused your injury, whether negligently or not, likely has already hired an attorney to represent them and made their insurance aware of the claim. Make sure you’re covered as well. After your injury, you’ll likely receive calls from parties whose interest are directly opposed to you. They act like your friend and ask you answer all kinds of questions they claim are innocent and necessary. Its not true, they want you to say things that hurt your claim, and save them money.
Unless and until you’ve hired a competent attorney, you should not work with any of these parties. Insurance companies and opposing parties attempt to sway your decisions, and they may even offer you money. Don’t discuss anything with them until you’ve learned about your rights and potential recovery amounts from an experienced personal injury attorney.
The surest way to maximize your potential for compensation is to work with a licensed attorney. They’ll be able to highlight parts of a potential case that you may not have considered. Personal injury cases are complex — you need an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the intricacies involved with care.
5. Settling your case without getting advice from your personal injury attorney
Post-injury, you will be pulled in many different directions, and a lot of it can be confusing. It can be tempting to accept money immediately after your case. An insurance company or may call you to offer you a settlement sum. It is almost always a bad idea to take this offer, and it’s always a bad idea to take the offer without consulting with your experienced personal injury attorney.
You may be in a pickle financially after an injury — it could have taken you away from work, caused family members to miss work due to caretaking, and you may have already run up high medical bills. However, settling too soon without a full understanding of the extent of your injuries and the associated costs can leave you severely undercompensated. You should work with legal experts and qualified medical professionals to determine the true, long-term impact of your injuries before considering any settlement offers. Once you accept a settlement offer, your case is forever over.
6. Disregarding your own self-care needs after your injury
If you’re like many hardworking Americans, you’ll likely be in a rush to get back to normal after your injury. No matter what’s waiting for you at home or at work, you should prioritize your self-care needs to the fullest extent possible. Recovery demands not only medical attention but also dedicated self-care.
Your healthcare providers will give you detailed care instructions after an injury — possibly including a regimen for medicine, home activities and even physical therapy. Don’t hinder your progress by putting your health on the back burner. Follow their instructions to ensure a swift and smooth recovery.
7. Neglecting to plan for long-term impact and future costs associated with your injury
In the rush to settle medical bills and other immediate expenses, individuals often fail to consider future costs. Chronic pain, ongoing therapy, and potential lifestyle adjustments can all impact your finances down the road. Work closely with your medical team and personal injury attorney to anticipate these costs when seeking compensation.