Common Mistakes in a San Jose Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit allows you to pursue justice in a meaningful way. With this aspect of the legal system in place, you have the opportunity to hold negligent entities accountable for their irresponsible and unsafe behavior. In many ways, personal injury law is one of the most important aspects of our legal system in San Jose. Not only does it discourage individuals from harming others, but it also allows injury victims to recover much-needed compensation to help with medical bills, missed wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
With all that said, a personal injury claim is an opportunity all too easy to waste. Without the correct approach, you can squander your chance of recovering adequate compensation for your damages. There are a number of common mistakes people make when approaching this legal process, and it is important to understand these pitfalls so you can avoid them in the future. These errors can be made by both plaintiffs and the attorneys who represent them.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to avoid making common mistakes is to enlist the help of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney. Choose a lawyer with decades of experience and solid qualifications, and you can approach your personal injury lawsuit with confidence and efficiency. Ideally, you should choose a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases, such as Mary Alexander & Associates.
Not Getting the Medical Treatment You Need
One of the most common mistakes made by plaintiffs is avoiding medical treatment after suffering injuries. While medical treatment can be expensive, it is best to move forward with any immediate, urgent treatments that you might require. If you want to successfully recover compensation for your damages, you need to prove that you actually suffered injuries. This is impossible unless you have been assessed by a medical professional.
When you receive treatment, you create a written record of your injuries that you can use as evidence in court. A wide range of medical documents can help support your claim. These include written statements from doctors and medical experts. You can also use medical images to support your claim, such as X-Rays or MRIs.
Putting all of this aside, it is also important to receive medical treatment from a purely health-based perspective. Your health is important, and it does not make sense to avoid the treatment you need. Your physical well-being should be a top priority, and you may encounter serious medical consequences if you delay or refuse the necessary treatments.
Waiting Too Long to File Your Lawsuit
Plaintiffs can also damage their chances of recovering adequate compensation by waiting too long. The statute of limitations in California states that you cannot file a personal injury claim if more than two years have passed since the incident. Since finding an attorney and gathering evidence can take time, it is best to get started as soon as possible. The statute of limitations becomes even more restricting if you are filing a medical malpractice claim. In this situation, you only have one year to file your claim. If you are taking action against a government agency, you only have six months to file your claim.
Unnecessary delays may also make it more difficult to collect strong evidence. People who witnessed your accident might move away or change their phone numbers. Surveillance footage can be deleted. You might lose photographs of the accident. It is always best to act quickly and “strike while the iron is hot.”
Failing to Collect Adequate Evidence
Speaking of evidence, many plaintiffs often fail to collect adequate evidence. While it is true that your attorney will take an active role in collecting and compiling evidence on your behalf, you can increase your chances of a positive legal outcome by seizing the initiative. Immediately after your accident, you may be able to photograph the scene of the incident. This can highlight key hazards, such as the lack of proper warning signs. You can also gather contact information from witnesses who saw the incident take place. With this evidence, you can help your attorney significantly and increase your chances of a considerable settlement amount.
Negotiating in an Ineffective Manner
A significant part of this process will likely involve negotiating with insurance companies. These companies can be shrewd when negotiating with claimants, and they hire specialists who focus only on giving you the lowest settlement amount possible. Your attorney can certainly help you negotiate effectively, and there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, insurance companies will generally do everything in their power to avoid going to trial. Keep this in mind, and do not be afraid to express that you are willing to take them to court. Insurance companies are quite aware of the fact that sympathetic juries will often rule in favor of an injury victim. Use this to your advantage and always negotiate from a position of strength. There are many common mistakes when it comes to the negotiation process, so it is important to work with a professional.
Trying to Represent Yourself
Do not make the mistake of trying to represent yourself. While it is technically possible, few people are successful if they take this route. There are too many small details and regulations that you need to be aware of, and it is easy to sabotage your claim by trying to take on too much responsibility. Trust the experts, and give yourself the chance to focus on the healing process.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the San Jose area for a qualified personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With decades of personal injury experience, we have seen many different personal injury cases over the years. We can help you avoid many of the common mistakes we have mentioned above. With a legal expert by your side, you can stop worrying about the details of your personal injury lawsuit and focus on what matters; getting back to normal and recovering from your injuries.