Top 10 Personal Injury Mistakes
1. Failing to seek immediate medical attention. If you are hurt, you should go to the emergency room or your family doctor as soon as possible.
2. Giving a statement to anyone from an insurance company. You are better off to obtain an attorney before ever speaking with an insurance company following an accident. The insurance company for the person that caused the accident will almost always try and contact you and ask you to give a recorded statement over the phone. Have them contact your attorney, and never give a recorded statement to an insurance company over the phone.
3. Settling your case without discussing the settlement with an attorney.
4. Settling your case when you don’t know whether your injuries are permanent or temporary. Insurance companies love to try and settle with injured people the day of or the day after a car accident. At that point, you will not know the extent of your injuries, and you are likely to receive much less than you are entitled to. You need to seek expert medical attention following an accident, not speaking with the insurance company for the person that injured you.
5. Signing any releases or medical authorizations without your attorney’s approval.
6. Failing to document the accident and your injuries. Following any accident, you should write a detailed letter to your attorney describing everything that happened. The letter must be addressed to only your lawyer, or the insurance company, and the person who injured you will be entitled to see what you wrote during the discovery phase of your case. Do not keep a diary of what happened to you. Instead, write letters or e-mails updating your lawyer and documenting your injuries, your treatment and whether you are progressing with your recovery.
7. Failing to take pictures. Following an accident, you should take pictures of the vehicles involved. If you are too shaken up, or are taken by ambulance, have a friend or family member take pictures of the vehicles. Make sure and document any physical facts of the accident scene, including the debris on the ground. The first priority is your immediate safety and security; never takes pictures if you need immediate medical attention or taking the pictures will put you in harm’s way.
8. Failing to go to treatment. If you are injured and your physicians prescribe physical therapy, chiropractic or other treatment, you should attempt to attend every appointment. Skipping appointments or having large gaps in treatment dates is a typical defense attorney theme that is used to argue that you must not have been seriously injured, or that you must have completely recovered from your injuries.
9. Failing to diligently pursue your own recovery. Although you have been injured by another, it is your obligation to diligently pursue your own medical recovery. This means more than going to your appointments. It includes research on your part to learn what will help you. If typical treatment is not working, consider alternate forms of treatment. If you have a serious injury, you should consider the benefits and risks of injections and surgery that may help you. The worst thing you can do for your body or your case is to be apathetic about your own recovery.
10. Failing to retain a Portland Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible. This one is simple. Insurance companies will not treat you fairly in seeking to settle your claim until you hire an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney.
Contact a Portland Injury Attorney Today
If you are in need of representation in Oregon or Washington for an injury claim, contact Johnston Law Firm, P.C., at 503-546-3167, by email or chat. The Johnston Law Firm, LLC proudly represents clients in all cities and counties in Oregon: Portland, Gresham, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas.
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