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Why Personal Injury Claims Fail

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Why Personal Injury Claims Fail

Why Personal Injury Claims Fail

 

While there is no lack of information online about personal injury law firms, there are few articles that outline common errors and pitfalls to avoid when making a personal injury claim. In this article, we will examine various reasons why claims have failed, or why awards have been lower than the injury victim deserved.

  1. You don’t meet the deadlines required to file a lawsuit. In Ontario, the law limits the time in which an injured party can file a lawsuit. If an injury victim fails to file the suit within the time limit, they will be unable to file at all. (There are a very few exceptions to this rule, including considerations made for minors under the age of 18 at the time of the accident.) In the case of a severe injury, this can be a terrible mistake.

     

  2. You attempt to handle your claim without legal representation. The personal injury claim process is bureaucratic and often exacting. If you try to act on your own behalf, it’s likely that you will be unable to meet the complicated demands of the system. A personal injury lawyer has the experience with the insurance and court systems necessary to file according to law and to meet the deadlines required. In addition, you might be asked to sign paperwork you don’t fully understand; these documents may involve waiving rights to future claims or admissions of wrongdoing. If you don’t have legal counsel, you may inadvertently sign something that sabotages your case.

     

  3. Lack of documentation or evidence. In order to prove your claim, you must be able to produce evidence regarding the accident and regarding your injury. Beginning with the police report about the accident, you should keep records of absolutely everything that has to do with the accident and the injury. File a report with the police and call your insurance company. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Take photographs of the accident scene. Write down the names of any doctors you consult with, from ER doctors to specialists, from physiotherapists to homecare nurses. Keep records of any treatments or medications you receive, including receipts for any that you pay for out-of-pocket. Ask for copies of records like x-rays or MRIs. Keep receipts for any injury-related expenses, such as bills for attendant care or help you get to do housekeeping tasks. Keep a diary and record daily details about your injury. Without records, your claim may be denied or your compensation greatly reduced.

     

  4. Failing to seek medical attention or failing to follow medical advice. If you do not immediately seek medical attention, it will appear that your injury was negligible. If you fail to follow advice from doctors about the best practices to heal your injury, you may be seen as contributing to it.

     

  5. You are found to be liable or partly liable. Accidents are rarely caused by one person only. In most cases, liability will be assigned (by percentage) to each of the parties involved. So, for example, if you are parked legally and another driver rear-ends your car, that driver would likely be found 100% liable. If, on the other hand, you are not totally blameless, it’s likely that you and the other driver will each be assigned a percentage of blame, and the larger the percentage of liability, the less your claim will be worth.

     

  6. Your social media presence contradicts your claim. In today’s world, information about your activities may be readily available to those who search. If you claim that your injury has left you isolated and immobile, but your Facebook account features videos of you dancing at a party, prepare to lose your case.

     

  7. You are found to be lying. Lying, even a small exaggeration, can destroy your credibility in a personal injury case. When you’re caught lying about your age or address on an insurance form, about the details of the accident, or about the severity of your injury, it may mean that your claim will be denied.

     

  8. You have a pre-existing condition. Through no fault of your own, a pre-existing condition may make it difficult to prove that the injury is responsible for pain or disability. For example, if you have a history of neck pain and have sought treatment for it in the past, it may be very difficult to prove that the whiplash you received in that rear-end collision is responsible for the recurring neck pain you have had ever since.

     

  9. Misstatements to insurance adjusters. Sometimes injury victims are caught off-guard by questions from insurance adjusters. It’s a common occurrence for someone to tell an adjuster that they feel “pretty good” or that their injury is “not too bad,” for example, or to admit to more responsibility than is strictly accurate when talking about the details of the accident.

Don’t be a victim of personal injury cases that fail. Get the compensation you deserve. Call a personal injury law firm today and learn more about the options available to you.