Pursuing a personal injury claim is rarely as simple as presenting what happened to you, how you feel, and how much you want in damages.
Many people come to us with misconceptions about personal injury claims. This leads to claims being settled on unfavorable terms or being lost entirely. What happens if you lose a car accident or other personal injury lawsuit? Here are some of the most common reasons. We offer ideas on how to avoid making these mistakes.
Fighting Without an Attorney
In personal injury claims, there is a science and art to succeeding in court.
The scientific side is ensuring that court filings are done in a particular way. You must meet strict deadlines. The artistic side has to do with negotiating settlements. In addition, it takes judgment and foresight to know when to accept a settlement offer and when to fight for more.
If you try to fight without an attorney, you might miss out on the knowledge and experience a personal injury attorney offers. They know all of the deadlines you must meet and how to properly file paperwork. They will be able to help you make decisions about legal strategy and how much you should expect. Trying to win a personal injury claim without an attorney might mean you’ll end up recovering far less than you deserve. Sometimes you might win nothing at all.
Lying about your injuries or losses will almost certainly hurt your case. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to restore you to your pre-accident position. You cannot use a personal injury claim just to make money for injuries or losses that you did not actually sustain.
In civil and criminal law, there is a relevant term called “fundamental dishonesty.” Under certain laws, entire personal injuries may be dismissed if the claimant has been fundamentally dishonest. Even if parts of their claim were genuine, it might still be dismissed.
Some claimants fail to realize that the courts can order costs against them if they are dishonest in their claims. Something as simple as exaggerating your injury or losses could very negatively affect your case.
Many people feel tempted to exaggerate their injuries. If a jury thinks you’re exaggerating though, they might question some of your other points. They might not be able to determine how much compensation you truly deserve. Exaggerating your injuries might cause your case to be dismissed.
Never guess the answer to a question. If you don’t know the answer, it is ok to say that you don’t know. If you speculate about the facts or motives of a case, you open yourself up to further interrogation. It creates holes in your case. Decline to comment and work with your attorney to figure out how to respond appropriately.
Misstatements and Misrepresentations
If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, be truthful throughout the entire process. Whatever you write or state in court must be truthful.
If you misrepresent anything, the court could dismiss your claim or issue sanctions against you. They could suppress evidence. This will make it harder for you to pursue your claim. In the end, misrepresentation could be a reason that you lose your personal injury case.
Lack of documentation
Personal injury claims require documentation. Claimants must prove when the accident happened, how it happened, and who is at fault. To begin with, you need to have a good case. After that, you’ll need to convince others that you have a great case. Documentation is the only way you can prove this. Examples of good documentation include:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Incident reports
- Eyewitness testimony
Also, keep a diary of your pain and symptoms. Your attorney will help you bring all of this information together.
In many accidents, it is possible that you are both a victim of an accident, and contributor to the accident. Multiple parties can share some degree of fault. If this is the case, it is possible to recover less than half the full amount of your damages. In some cases, you might not recover anything at all.
Be prepared if the other side accuses you of contributory negligence. If you are prepared for this, you will know exactly what to say to counter them. This will prevent you from losing due to contributory negligence.
Some clients want to appear tough and claim that their injuries are not as bad as they really are. They want to be resilient and avoid conflict. If you minimize your issues, you will almost definitely reduce what you receive in compensation. You should always get the financial compensation you need and deserve.
If you work with an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney, you can get the compensation you deserve for your injuries as well as your pain and suffering. They train for many years in order to be able to evaluate cases objectively.
Waiting Too Long
Do not wait to speak to a personal injury attorney in Louisiana. If you enlist the help of a trained expert, they will be able to provide useful direction. Waiting too long to seek legal help might make it harder to gather evidence and present your case.
Inaccurate Tax Forms
If you are out of work for a while due to your personal injury case, you will probably lose some of your earnings. If your tax returns understate how much you make, you will not be able to secure the damages you really deserve. To recover lost wages, your tax returns most accurately reflect how much you actually make.
Not Working With Your Attorney as a Team
You need to be honest with your attorney. They need to know the whole story. They will need a lot of time to prepare responses to some of the things the opposing attorney says. If you hide some of the details of your case, past accidents, job firings, or injuries, your attorney might be caught off guard. If you tell your attorney everything up front, they will be able to formulate the best possible course of action.
You and your attorney are a team. They need to hear from you and know your input. They might ask you to do things like keeping receipts, keeping a journal, preparing for court appearances, and gathering records. If you do not work closely with your attorney, you will not be able to offer your opinion. You might lose your case this way. Use your attorney’s knowledge as a guide and let them advocate for you.
Don’t Lose Your Personal Injury Case – Call Shreveport Attorney Joseph Greenwald, Jr. Today
Attorney Joseph Greenwald is a compassionate attorney who keeps in touch with the experiences his clients go through. His clients are more than just files or numbers– they are like family. He engages a network of expert witnesses, does meticulous research, and constructs arguments that are aggressive and effective. Do not risk losing your personal injury case in Louisiana due to one of the reasons listed above. Contact his office today for a free case evaluation and get the help you need.