1. Failing to Get Proper Medical Care or Ending Treatment Early
Women tend to put everyone else’s needs before their own. Oftentimes they will neglect to care for themselves because they are busy caring for others. Brad Parker says this is the worst mistake a woman can make in a personal injury case.
“The insurance company is just looking for reasons to reduce the compensation you can receive. If you forego or delay treatment, the insurance company will claim you were injured in some other way and not the result of the accident,” Brad says.
“It’s also important to be as accurate about your medical history as possible. Once it’s recorded in your medical history, it’s there forever.” Your doctors may prescribe many different types of therapy, such as chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, pain management and surgery. Even if you are busy trying to balance answering emails, getting the kids to softball practice and fixing dinner, every step must be followed to a T. If you don’t follow the doctor’s instructions, your claim could get devalued. Don’t skip any of your appointments, or an insurance adjustor may concentrate on those gaps and make a note that you must not be as seriously injured as you’re claiming.
2. Failing to Keep Documentation About the Accident or Sustained Injuries
As time passes, a person’s memory fades. Anyone may think they will remember the facts clearly, but that’s not always the case. Make sure to take photos, collect and organize medical records, communicate any and all symptoms to your doctor and keep a journal of how you are feeling. All of this will help refresh your memory if you are facing a jury in a trial a few years down the road.
3. Giving the Insurance Company a Statement
The insurance company wants to get a statement from you before you’ve had time to consult with an attorney. They want to use that opportunity to lock you into a set of facts that help them limit the damages and lower their obligation to pay you. Oftentimes they will request you provide them a recorded statement. Do NOT do it.
4. Signing a Release
If you sign a release of claim for any reason, there is usually no recovering. When you sign a release, you are likely giving up legal protections you have to keep your private information private. Most of the time insurance companies want a release for medical records. You shouldn’t permit any insurance company to have complete access to your entire medical history.
5. Settling With the Insurance Company Immediately After the Accident
Never settle before you know the full extent of the injuries.
Brad says, “The insurance company is a business that is only interested in minimizing their costs. Many times the insurance company will swoop in immediately following an accident and offer pennies on the dollar before the client knows the extent of their injuries. Wait and make sure you are well and not going to need ongoing treatment.”