According to attorney Scott Monge, Founder of Monge & Associates and author of “Secrets to Win Your Injury Case,” here’s how you can prevent sabotaging your case.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you should feel confident heading into your case that you’ll receive all the compensation you’re entitled to. After all, it’s you and your family who have been paying the price physically, emotionally, and financially. Your world has been turned upside down and the outcome of your injury case is crucial for your future.
But besides hiring a highly rated law firm to represent you, it is also up to you to make sure you don’t sabotage your own injury case.
It’s no secret that insurance companies are in business to make money. It’s important to keep in mind that they are more concerned with their own interests than yours. The insurance adjuster of the at-fault party might be friendly and seem helpful, but understand that their loyalty lies with the insurance company they’re employed by.
- Do Not Accept an Immediate Settlement: One of the most common moves made by insurance companies is to offer a meager settlement to a person before they even obtain legal counsel. The offer might sound like a lot of money at first but it’s never as much as you should receive. On average, cases with an attorney settle for three times more than those without. And it’s important remember that once you accept a settlement, the case in finished and you can’t go back and try to negotiate a new deal.
- Be Honest: Always be honest with insurance adjusters and case investigators. There are times when injured people stretch the truth or completely omit details in their case, but you should not do this because it immediately sends up red flags to insurance adjusters and case investigators, both of which typically have access to huge databases of information about you.
- Keep Good Records: As soon as the accident happens, you want to start documenting everything and continue until after the case is settled. Documents you should keep include: copy of the police report; notes, photos, videos and investigative materials; contact information of witnesses, doctors, attorneys, and insurance representatives; all correspondence from the insurance company; copies of all medical records and paperwork; receipts from medical expenses; a record of lost wages; a copy of any applicable insurance policies; car repair information if in an auto accidents; receipts and paperwork for any other expenses related to the accident.
- Don’t Underestimate the Value of Your Case: This goes back to not taking an early settlement because it’s easy to underestimate the cost of medical expenses. However, they are through the roof! The effects of an injury caused by an accident can linger and require years of rehabilitation. In some situations, there is permanent damage. You must make sure you’re getting a fair value for medical expenses and lost wages in your injury case settlement.
- Social Media: These days, a background check by insurance adjusters and case investigators means a look into your social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Posting information or photos of your accident can quickly ruin your personal injury case. Also doing things like posting pictures of yourself riding a roller coaster can come back to bite you in your case. Also, do not take to social media to leave negative comments about the at-fault party. This will not reflect well upon you during your case.