If you get hurt in an accident, filing a personal injury claim can lead to financial compensation that can help your family pay for related costs and move forward. As an injured victim, you deserve the maximum amount of compensation available to help you recover. While positive results are never a guarantee, there are things that you can do to strengthen your personal injury case and improve your odds of success.
Get Medical Care Right Away
Skipping the visit to a hospital after getting into an accident can hurt your ability to recover compensation from an insurance company. Insurers generally require prompt medical care for a client to qualify for coverage. Waiting too long to see a doctor puts you at risk of your claim being rejected or the value of your case being diminished based on the argument that the delay exacerbated your injuries and worsened your health.
During your visit, tell your doctor everything that happened. Describe what you’re feeling in detail, explaining everywhere you feel pain or tenderness. Follow your doctor’s orders and treatment plan precisely. Keep an injury journal on your own, as well, where you document how you’re feeling and what your recovery looks like. Document your injuries as much as possible through photos, videos, and copies of x-rays and records.
Secure and Preserve Evidence
The burden of proof rests with the plaintiff (the injured party) in a personal injury lawsuit in Nebraska. You or your lawyer must establish that the defendant is more likely than not responsible for causing your injury. Proving your case requires clear and convincing evidence, also known as a “preponderance of the evidence.”
You can strengthen your case by securing and preserving as much evidence as possible. Evidence to support your case may include pictures, video footage, copies of accident and police reports, medical records, wage and work documents, property damage repair estimates, eyewitness statements, and cell phone records.
Be Careful What You Say
Your own words can be used against you by an insurance company that is attempting to deny your claim or minimize your financial recovery. Protect yourself by being careful when you speak to anyone about your accident and injuries. This includes the other party involved in the accident, the police, friends and family, and insurance company claims adjusters.
Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. Keep your answers to questions short and simple. Do not give any more detail than is necessary. When communicating with an insurance company, don’t give your permission for a recorded statement. This is a tactic often used by insurance companies to undermine a client’s claim. Do not rush into a fast settlement or sign anything given to you by the insurance company until consulting with an attorney.
Don’t Post on Social Media
A common mistake plaintiffs make is posting about their accidents, injuries or medical journey online. While you may wish to share your experience with friends and loved ones on social media, refrain from doing so until after your case has been resolved. An insurance company can peruse your social media accounts and use anything uploaded, commented or messaged against you. This is true regardless of your privacy settings.
Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
The skill of your personal injury attorney can make the biggest difference to the strength of your case. Choosing a lawyer with years of experience in your practice area can give you an edge. Your legal advocate will understand the laws in Nebraska and how to navigate them. The right attorney can aggressively negotiate with an insurance company for you to pursue maximum compensation. You can trust an attorney to build your case with compelling evidence, strong storytelling, hired experts and consultants, accident reconstruction, and other powerful resources.