If you’ve been injured due to a car accident, a mishap at work, a slip and fall accident, or some other scenario caused by the fault of others, you are aware of how life changing these events can be. You may be struggling with steep medical bills, debilitating pain, emotional distress, and an uncertain future.
Personal injury lawyers specialize in the area of law that helps people recover from situations just like these. And since they handle these types of cases every day, they know a few things that can help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Here at Tingey Injury Law Firm, we’ve been helping people from the greater Las Vegas area recover from injury accidents for 50 years. Though every case is different, there are some truths and tricks of the trade that apply to most victims.
Based on our experiences over the years, we’d like to share 10 secrets to help you get the benefits that you deserve in the wake of an injury accident.
- Insurance is not your friend—and that goes for not only the opposing party’s insurance but also your own insurance carrier. Insurance companies care most about one thing: their bottom line. As a result, they have certain formulas in place to maximize their profits. Unfortunately, they may come at your expense. The company’s representatives may try to intimidate you, downplay your injuries, seek to blame your injuries on past health issues, or talk you into settling for less than you deserve.
- Consider future losses. Today’s medical issues may affect your ability to function down the line—not just on the job but in day-to-day functions, such as driving or housekeeping. Talk to a seasoned attorney to ensure that the compensation that you are receiving can account for the costs you may incur in the coming years for loss of capacity, ongoing medical bills, etc.
- Not all cases are worth pursuing. Your case may be a slam dunk—easy to prove and compelling enough to help you fully recover your losses. Or there simply may not be enough evidence or cause to merit a lawsuit. A knowledgeable attorney can draw on past experience to help you know if you have a strong enough case. The last thing you want to do is invest your time, money, and emotional energy into something that won’t yield the desired result.
- Emotions can cloud judgment. Injury accidents can be very traumatic, leaving their victims with a firestorm of emotions to contend with—fear, anxiety, loss, despair. An experienced attorney can bring objectivity to the case. For example, you may be tempted to jump at the first settlement offer so you can quickly resolve your mounting financial burdens and put the case behind you. Your attorney can help you understand the ramifications of settling quickly versus pressing for a more robust settlement.
- Evidence matters. No matter how sad your situation is, emotions and pathos do not win personal injury cases—evidence does. The more you can provide, the stronger your case will be.
- Get serious about medical care. We have repeatedly seen people’s cases hurt by the fact that they failed to get adequate medical help or comply with their doctor’s orders. We always advise people to see a doctor as soon as possible after their accident, even if they aren’t experiencing pain or discomfort. Symptoms from injuries—including everything from whiplash to traumatic brain injury—may not manifest until well after the accident. A doctor can often detect health problems even before you feel their effects and help you care for them properly.
- Injury law is complicated. Filing a personal injury claim is not for the faint of heart. There are complex legal procedures, mountains of paperwork, and confusing medical terms and legal jargon to make sense of. You are, of course, allowed to reject settlement offers from insurance companies and try for a more satisfactory outcome, but in order to do this, you will need to explain yourself with compelling reasoning and the proper semantics.
- Social media can sink your case. The things you post on social media are public information and can be used against you. For example, if you are arguing that your back strain keeps you from working but you post a picture of yourself on the basketball court with your buddies, your integrity may be called into question—even if you were only there as an observer.
- Fault on your part doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. Accident injuries can be messy, with both parties sharing some fault. For example, perhaps you made a left turn at an intersection without allowing yourself enough time, but the other driver was speeding. Just because you had some fault in the accident doesn’t mean that you don’t have a personal injury case.
- Physical injuries aren’t all you can sue for. Injury accidents can hurt far more than your body. They can cause mental anguish and emotional distress, leading to depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. These injuries are harder to quantify, but they are no less serious. With the help of an experienced attorney and qualified medical professionals, you may be able to get support and compensation for these injuries as well.
Be wary of Big Insurance. Let your attorney be the go-between so that they don’t trick you into saying something that you’ll regret later. Don’t accept their settlement offer without consulting your attorney as it may be inadequate to cover current and future damages. Which brings us to our next consideration…
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of documenting your case. From taking photographs and collecting witness testimonies at the accident scene to photographing and documenting your injuries and the details of your medical treatment, it is critical that you gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
A physician can also draw a clear “cause and effect” between your injuries and the accident so that the insurance company doesn’t try to claim that they were caused by past health issues unrelated to the accident.
You should also comply with all of your doctor’s orders. If they prescribe physical therapy, for example, see it through, attending all of your appointments and doing any home exercises or stretches that the specialist recommends. Failing to comply with treatment regimens may cast you in a bad light and call the seriousness of your injuries into question.
An experienced accident injury attorney can help you sift through the legal-ese, complete paperwork correctly and promptly, file it through the proper channels, and make your case according to proven strategies. This can relieve your burden so that you can focus on healing from trauma and physical injuries rather than feeling overwhelmed by a mass of legal work.
You may counter by saying that you can simply change your settings so that you are posting for friends only. However, even that information can be summoned as evidence through different means, including Nevada’s Discovery Rules, which require you to produce records (including social media posts).
If you have filed a personal injury claim, it’s best to stay off of social media altogether, but at the very least, you should avoid any personal postings, limiting your engagement to simply liking or sharing others’ posts.
The State of Nevada has a modified comparative fault policy. This means that you can sue for damages if your actions constituted less than half of the fault in an injury accident. So even if you bear some of the blame, a claim is still worth exploring.
Armed with these tips, you should be better prepared than most to file your personal injury claim. For help from a car wreck injury attorney, or attorneys who specialize in any other form of injury accident, contact Tingey Injury Law Firm today.