Injuries caused by preventable accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. Although the circumstances surrounding these accidents may vary, the results are often the same. Victims are left to struggle with heavy medical bills while suffering lost wages, as their injuries prevent them from engaging in hobbies and activities they once enjoyed.
As experienced Texas personal injury attorneys, our goal is to help you demand full and fair compensation, either by filing an insurance claim or through a personal injury lawsuit. While we pledge to work tirelessly to investigate your accident and collect the evidence needed to show the other party is to blame, it is important for you to be aware of common mistakes that could end up hurting your case.
Here’s What Not to Do
Even if you may be legally entitled to compensation for your injury, the actions you take after an accident could jeopardize your case. Common mistakes when filing a personal injury claim include:
1. Leaving the Scene of an Accident
It is important to remain on the scene of an accident long enough for security or law enforcement to be notified and to have a police report filed. You should make note of the time of day and the circumstances surrounding your injuries, the names of those involved, and any witnesses at the scene. Leaving without reporting the accident robs you of valuable evidence and will jeopardize your rights to compensation in a personal injury claim.
2. Not Keeping Track of Medical Records and Other Documents
It is also important to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think your injuries are minor. Many serious and potentially disabling conditions, such as head, back, and neck injuries, have symptoms that take days or even weeks to appear. Keep track of your medical records and the names of your providers, in addition to any lost wages you suffered and additional costs you incurred.
3. Exaggerating Your Injuries
When reporting your injuries to your doctor, be honest and avoid exaggerating about your condition or the extent of damage you suffered. Do not discuss your injuries with the insurance company or give the insurer access to your medical records without talking to an attorney.
4. Not Meeting Time Limits for Filing a Claim
In civil court matters, there are time limits for filing a claim, referred to as a statute of limitations. In Texas personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury. If you fail to file your claim within that time limit, you will be forfeiting your rights to any current or future compensation.
5. Making Statements to Insurance Companies
While people often think that insurance companies are on their side, nothing could be further from the truth. When dealing with these companies, it is important to realize that they are operating a business, and as such, their bottom line is profit. This gives them a financial motive for denying or undervaluing claims, and any statements you make about the accident, your activities before or after, and your injuries could be used against you. Always speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before making any statements to the insurance company or signing any documents.
6. Talking About Your Injuries on Social Media
While many of us enjoy keeping in touch with friends and posting on social media, it is important to realize it is one of the first places insurance companies go when investigating claims. A Journal News report on the role of social media in personal injury claims states that online posts, photos, and videos are increasingly being used as evidence to cast doubt on your accident, your injuries, or your character in general. To protect your personal injury claim, your safest bet is to stop posting on your social media accounts until your case is resolved.
Texas Personal Injury Claims
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly 31 million people suffer personal injuries each year serious enough to require treatment in hospital emergency rooms, and these types of injuries result in death for as many as 130,000 others. Although these injuries are generally attributed as being accidental in nature, they are often the result of reckless and negligent actions on the part of others.
Under Texas law, those who suffer personal injuries as the result of another’s actions are entitled to damages, which are a form of compensation. Damages you may be entitled to in a Texas personal injury claim include:
- Economic damages, which compensate you for costs such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage
- Non-economic damages, which compensate you for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and physical disfigurement caused by your injuries
- Exemplary damages, which is an additional dollar amount awarded by the court, meant to punish the at fault party for conduct that was particularly reckless or negligent.
Personal injury cases in which the above types of compensation may be available include car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, pedestrian or bicycling injuries, slips and falls, being struck by or against an object, dog bites and attacks, and product liability claims.
Our South Texas Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help You
If you or someone you care about is the victim of a personal injury, contact Burch Law Firm right away. Attorney Troy D. Burch is originally from the New Braunfels area. With strong roots in the community, he has been providing professional legal representation with a personalized touch for more than a quarter-century.
Our office works directly with you to answer your questions and concerns, helping you avoid common mistakes when filing a personal injury claim. We serve New Braunfels and the surrounding South Central Texas area. Call or contact our office online today to request a free and confidential case consultation.
Troy Burch has practiced law in New Braunfels since 1990 representing residents of New Braunfels and the surrounding communities. Troy Burch graduated with high honors from Texas Christian University and from Baylor Law School.