Have You Been Injured Because Someone Else Was Negligent?
If you are injured by another person’s negligence in the State of Arizona you probably know that you may be entitled to some amount of financial compensation. However, to obtain the full compensation amount you are entitled to, you’ll need the advice and services of a Phoenix personal injury attorney.
You may be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, personal suffering and pain, and related damages. However, some of those who file personal injury claims without the assistance of an attorney make one or more common mistakes that can keep them from recovering the full and complete compensation they need.
Which mistakes can ruin a personal injury claim? How can you avoid these mistakes, and how can you recover the compensation you need after you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence?
What Mistakes Do Personal Injury Victims Make?
If you are injured because someone else was negligent – in a trip-and-fall incident or an auto accident, for example – you must avoid the mistakes that might put your claim at risk. Here are three of the most common mistakes that can defeat your effort to recover compensation:
- a failure to seek immediate medical treatment for injuries
- a failure to gather important evidence after the incident occurs
- talking to an insurance company before you have legal counsel
Mistake #1: Failure to Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
If you are seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another person, best practice is to obtain needed medical treatment at once after any injury. An immediate medical exam and corresponding treatment protects you both medically and legally. An injury may seem trivial – in fact, you may feel fine – but after several days or weeks, a latent or difficult-to-detect injury could emerge as a serious medical condition.
If possible, best practice is to obtain a medical exam and treatment within the first 24 hours after being injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another.
Mistake #2: Failure to Gather Important Evidence
To prevail with a personal injury claim in Arizona, you need precise and credible documentation of what happened and what your losses are. A common mistake personal injury victims make is failing to collect the evidence and documents that they need to support their injury claims.
A Phoenix personal injury lawyer can advise you later, but when an accident happens, it is very likely that no lawyer will be there to counsel you. Keep your composure and take these steps at the scene. These are essential first steps:
- After a traffic crash, if anyone is injured, summon medical assistance and summon the police. Find out when and how you can obtain a copy of the written police accident report. Exchange personal and insurance contact details with the other driver or drivers.
- If you are injured at a restaurant, hotel, attraction, retail location, or public facility, report your injury to management or security. Most businesses and large facilities will ask you to fill out a written injury report form. Make and keep your own copy of that form.
- Take photographs of the accident site and your own visible injuries. Ask for the names of any witnesses and a way to contact them. Photos and witness statements can sometimes be powerful evidence in a personal injury case.
Store the pertinent documents, photographs, and copies securely. Too often, an accident victim takes a personal injury claim to an injury attorney without any medical records, photos, or any other way to prove the claim.
Mistake #3: Speaking to an Insurance Company Before You Have Legal Counsel
If you are injured in Arizona because another party was reckless or negligent, do not speak with anyone who represents the at-fault party’s insurance company prior to speaking to an attorney. Once you retain an attorney, refer all inquiries from that insurance company to your Phoenix personal injury attorney.
Do not make any statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company without an attorney assisting you. Anything you say could be twisted and used to discredit you. And it is usually very unwise to accept that company’s first settlement offer. First offers are typically offers to settle for an amount that is far less than your claim is actually worth.
Instead, have an Arizona personal injury attorney negotiate on your behalf. Most personal injury cases are resolved out-of-court, but if no acceptable settlement offer is forthcoming, or if liability for the accident is disputed, your injury attorney should be prepared to take your case to trial.
The Biggest Mistake: Lack of Legal Counsel
If you make any of the three mistakes discussed here, your personal injury claim may not be set up for success. However, the biggest mistake that victims make is failing to obtain an attorney’s help as quickly as possible after sustaining a personal injury or injuries.
If you are injured – now or in the future – because someone else was reckless or negligent, schedule a free, in-depth case evaluation with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. Failing to obtain legal counsel immediately is the biggest mistake that an injured victim of negligence can make.
Contact an attorney as soon as you’ve been examined and treated for your injury. The statute of limitations in Arizona is two years for almost all personal injury claims, but you cannot wait two years. Evidence deteriorates or disappears, and the recollections of witnesses can fade quickly.
Moore Injury Law Fights for the Victims of Negligence
The attorneys at Moore Injury Law have decades of personal injury experience. We consistently prevail on behalf of the injured victims of negligence in personal injury cases in the Phoenix area and across Arizona.
We represent our personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis. You pay no attorney’s fee to Moore Injury Law upfront, and you’ll owe no attorney’s fee until and unless we recover your compensation.
In or near the greater Phoenix area, if you’ve been injured because another person was reckless or negligent – or if you’re not sure whether you have a personal injury claim – contact Moore Injury Law promptly at 602-780-1616, and get the legal advice and representation you need.