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10 common mistakes personal injury clients make

1. Going with their insurer or the third-party insurer immediately

This is mainly associated with road traffic accidents. It’s very common after you have notified your insurance company of your accident that you will receive a phone call soon after asking if you are injured. This can come from your own insurer, third party insurer or even a solicitor who has been given your information by one of the two insurers.

The reason for such quick contact is to capture your signatures so they can handle your injury claim. Some insurers are very good at handling injury claims and, unfortunately, many aren’t. Many insurers are working on volume cases, which means you could be 1 in 500 cases being managed by one solicitor or unqualified paralegal.

Be sure to choose a solicitor you believe you can contact easily and are appropriately qualified to handle your injury claim. On top of that, be mindful that you will receive 2-3 times more compensation using a solicitor than the first offer from the insurer. This fact can be found on the law society website.

2. Solicitors are unapproachable

This is a stereotype which, to be fair, most solicitors deserve. Many solicitors from 1980s and 1990s haven’t evolved and basically don’t possess very good people or communication skills. If you have experienced this in the past, don’t be put off by giving us a call. Speak to us for just 5-10 minutes about your personal injury over the phone and see if you like our approach to working with you.

3. Thinking your questions are stupid

It’s not every day or every year you have a serious non-fault accident. If it’s something you haven’t done before, don’t be afraid to ask every question you have in your head. It’s always good to write your questions down on paper so when we do talk, you don’t forget those questions no matter how minor you may think they are. We can promise you won’t hear us laughing or joking about any questions. We are here to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

4. Assuming a compensation claim might be easy

Some claims like non-fault road traffic accidents can be easy. However, all it takes is for the defendant to change their mind whose fault the accident was resulting in the claim becoming challenging. This can often happen at the beginning of a claim which can often delay things like your medical later. Whatever challenges we incur, we will deal with them and only bring them to your attention if we need extra information from you. If it delays the process of your claim then of course we will keep you informed.

5. Not obtaining key evidence or losing evidence

Road traffic accidents are fairly simple. You should ensure you get the defendant’s registration number, car make, model, location, pictures of both cars in accident position etc. However, accidents like trips and falls aren’t so obvious. If you are seriously injured, your first thoughts aren’t to get the camera out – it’s usually to call for help and go to hospital.

There are many examples of ensuring you have the right evidence to assist your accident injury claim. We have written an article on this, evidence required for different accident claims.

6. Settling your claim without obtaining medical evidence

Insurers sometimes respond to a claim by offering a sum of compensation immediately. A lawyer will find it nearly impossible to value your claim without medical evidence, unless you have made a full recovery in a matter of weeks. Occasionally, it might be worth accepting such an offer but we strongly recommend all of clients having a medical if they are still injured. The whole reason pre-medical offers are made is to tempt the claimant into accepting a low offer for what their injury is really worth. By offering the cash quickly, some people don’t know any different or they are poorly advised and they accept, then are often regretful later when they find out what someone else received for a similar injury.

7. Assuming that all law firms are the same

Many people injured in a car accident use the law firm allocated to them by their insurance company, without questioning whether this law firm is any good. When you think about it, this is utter madness! Shop around, speak to friends and use someone who has been recommended or you trust!

  • Is this law firm near you?

  • Can you meet your solicitor or legal executive?

  • If you can’t meet them, can you easily speak to them?

  • Do you trust them?

Not just that, ask the person handling your case some questions too:

  • Are they a qualified solicitor or legal executive?

  • How many clients do they have at one time? Will you receive the services from a qualified solicitor or paralegal?

  • Where does the profit from your claim go?

  • What free legal advice do they offer?

Whatever you do, choose your own solicitor, don’t let your insurers choose a firm which suits them and pays them!

8. Assuming all solicitors are equally qualified

You will never find a solicitor who advises on house purchases, assists with wills and probate, commercial dispute and injury claims. If you do, don’t use them. Most law firms divide the business and solicitors into the areas of law they studied and qualified in.

We have different solicitors dedicated to brain injury and spinal injuries compared to road traffic accidents. We also have specialised solicitors to deal with accidents in work places/public paces and more.

9. Assuming all lawyers are equally skilled and experienced

We are not! I wouldn’t dream of advising on a house purchase, but I can count on one hand the number of times a client has asked me whether I have dealt with a claim like theirs before. Make sure your lawyer knows his or her stuff. Personal injury claims are hugely important, so don’t trust a novice with your case.

10. Failing to inform the medical expert of all symptoms

If your solicitor sends you to a medical expert, and you don’t tell the doctor about all of your symptoms, it is very unlikely you will be able to change the resulting report. Medical reports are crucial in personal injury claims. Reports document your injuries and your prospects of recovering from them. You cannot rely upon the doctor to ask exactly the right questions and extract all information about your injuries. Do not be afraid of doctors. If a doctor doesn’t ask you something and you think it is important, volunteer the information. If your injuries are not mentioned in a medical report, it’s unlikely that you will be compensated for them.

11. Bonus – Not telling your lawyer about the mental/psychological side of an injury.

Are you drinking more? Having nightmares? Sweats? Just hoping that it will go away? What would your partner say about you since the accident? Are you shouting more? Or more reserved? More forgetful? Do you have flashbacks? How has it affected you at work? Are you exercising less?

The psychological element of an injury can often be the worst bit. Mental health is accepted and acknowledged more than ever.

Don’t be afraid to bring this to the attention of the doctor during your medical. If it’s easier, write your syptoms down on paper, so you don’t forget or regret not mentioning everything. Sometimes the mind can go blank, so if it’s on paper, you shouldn’t forget.

If you would like any help with your personal injury claim, don’t be afraid to get in touch. Feel free to fill in the contact form below and we will do our bets to call you back within 24 hours (Monday to Friday).

Speak to us now on 01706 399 465 or request a call back

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