7 Ways to Avoid Negligence in your Personal Injury Claim

7 ways to avoid negligence in your personal injury claim

When it comes to litigating a personal injury claim, there is nothing worse than your own negligence. Personal injury cases often turn on nuances and can boil down to how well your present and record favorable evidence. If you are not able to pay attention to each facet of the case, you can expect your potential awards to perpetually diminish. Legal theories are extremely fragile and are full of contradictions that can undermine your legal claim entirely. Here are 7 ways to avoid negligence while litigating your personal injury claim.

#1: Contributory Negligence

When you are litigating a personal injury claim, the defendants can always argue that you are at least 50 percent responsible for your injuries. If you failed to mitigate the damages or did not take appropriate actions to prevent the injury, this can bar financial compensation. For this reason, you should always be careful to work through an attorney. A law firm such as Foyle Legal Perth can help you present the most black and white case of the defendant's fault as possible. If you give the defendants any footing, they will take that loophole and run with it.

#2: Comparative Negligence

There are times when the jury will find that you were at least partially responsible for your own injuries. This, likewise, occurs when you fail to mitigate or reasonably prevent it using common sense. For example, if you found out that you were sick due to the food at the school cafeteria, why did you continue to eat it for a year? While you may have had doubts during that time that the school food was the cause, the defendant may be able to argue that you were less than 50 percent responsible for your own injuries. This can dramatically reduce the potential awards. The defendants' attorneys can present trick questions and hard questions that would open up this loophole.

#3: Misstatements

Aside from misstatements that open up the door for subtle counterdefenses like comparative and contributory negligence, any misstatement or poorly worded statement can throw your entire claim. The insurance adjusters and attorneys representing the defendants are crafty at adding their own spin to words. They can take fragments of phrases out of context and read in a meaning that you didn't intend. If you agree that it was overcast and hard to see, they can use this to justify why their client did not see you on your motorcycle even if it was clear in the area. They can also play dumb when they are asking you questions on the witness stand and pretend that they don't understand to misrepresent your words. You should always have an experienced attorney represent you to ensure that there are no misstatements for your opponents to exploit.

#4: Posting on Social Media

It is becoming paramount for victims of personal injury claims to avoid posting on social media. Like taking your words out of context, public social media presents the perfect opportunity for your opponents to deflate or counter your claims. If you claim that you are suffering and in chronic deep pain, a picture of you smiling on social media is not going to help your case. Furthermore, if you claim that you are having trouble walking and with lower back pain, you can't post up videos or photographs of you dancing. Although injuries may have periods when you are able to grin and bear it, you cannot allow these fragments of evidence to find their way into cyberspace. They can come back to haunt you.

#5: Statute of Limitations

When it comes time to file a claim, an insurance company may mislead you regarding the deadline for you to file a claim if they don't make a settlement. If they actively mislead you regarding the statute of limitations, there are legal provisions to extend the statute of limitations. However, if they did not put this in writing or you misplaced the letter, then you will have a difficult time proving this in court.

Be aware that the statute of limitations to file for a personal injury claim varies from state to state. The statute of limitation acts an ultimate bar to filing a claim when it has passed a certain timeframe of 1 year, 2, or more years from the date of injury or as defined by a state. You should also be aware that federal courts typically rely on the state laws filing deadlines for any events that occurred in that state and have no uniform statute of limitations of their own.

#6: Poor Record Keeping

When you are litigating a personal injury case, most of the damages are going to be based on objective evidence. You have to define and calculate the numerous financial transactions and bills. If you are poorly organized and do not keep proper records, it can be confusing when it comes time to tally up the damages. Although most bank records will help to alleviate any mismanagement, these may be a mere skeleton of the information that you want. It is always better to keep any actual receipts with expenses itemized for complete records.

#7: Failing to Document Injuries

If you do not document the toll and extent of your injuries, it will be harder to present this information in court. The more evidence that you have to document the suffering that you went through in the recovery process, the better footing that you'll have when it comes time to collect damages for pain and suffering. For this reason, you should always hire an attorney who is well-versed in personal injury claims to have medical experts document your injuries.

You can also take video recordings to create a timeline of your progress and the challenges that you face. The best place would be to have someone document the physical therapy and other treatments that you must go through to recover. Some of these photos or videos may also have an emotional impact with jurors and can be used to increase the payout when negotiating a fair settlement.