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What are Some Common Mistakes People Make that Can Weaken their Personal Injury Claims

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When individuals pursue personal injury claims, they seek compensation for harm suffered due to another’s negligence. Yet, even with genuine grievances, claimants frequently undermine their cases inadvertently. Missteps range from simple oversights to substantive legal blunders, each potentially diminishing the claim’s validity and value.

Claimants may unintentionally harm their claims by failing to document injuries or report the accident promptly. This delay can cast doubt on the severity of the injuries or even suggest deceit. Furthermore, inconsistent statements to insurance companies, healthcare providers, or law enforcement can be used against a claimant to challenge the credibility of their claim.

Another pitfall includes mishandling medical care, such as ignoring doctor’s orders or not attending follow-up appointments. Insurers may interpret this as an indication that the injuries are not serious, which can significantly lower the compensation a claimant might receive. Engaging with social media and openly discussing the claim can also prejudice the case, as anything shared publicly can be scrutinized and used by the defense.

Understanding Personal Injury Claims

When individuals seek Legal help for injuries in Pittsburgh or elsewhere, the strength of their personal injury claim is crucial. A well-founded claim involves a clear understanding of legal time frames, the role of comparative negligence, and the crucial nature of evidence.

Time Limits for Filing

The statute of limitations sets strict deadlines for when someone can legally file a personal injury lawsuit. In Pittsburgh, as in the rest of Pennsylvania, individuals typically have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. Missing this deadline can result in the claim being barred entirely, meaning no opportunity to recover damages.

  • Personal Injury: 2 years from the injury date
  • Exception Cases: Might vary depending on specific circumstances

Role of Comparative Negligence

Pennsylvania operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that if the injured party is found to be partially at fault for the incident, their compensation could be reduced. If they are found to be more than 51% at fault, they cannot recover any damages.

  • Less than 51% at Fault: Compensation reduced by the percentage of fault
  • 51% or More at Fault: No compensation

Importance of Evidence

Evidence is the foundation of any personal injury claim. Detailed and timely collected evidence secures the claim’s validity. This includes photographs of the scene, medical records, witness statements, and any other documentation that supports the extent of the injuries and assigns fault.

  • Evidence Collection: Immediate and comprehensive
  • Documentation Types:
    • Medical records
    • Witness statements
    • Photographs and videos
    • Police reports

Common Pitfalls in Injury Claims

When pursuing a personal injury claim, certain missteps can significantly undermine the case. Recognizing these pitfalls is essential in safeguarding the claim’s integrity and potential compensation.

Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Victims who delay medical treatment may not only harm their health but may also hurt their claim’s credibility. Insurers could argue that injuries are not severe or are unrelated to the incident if there’s a gap in treatment. Immediate medical attention is crucial for establishing a clear link between the incident and the injuries sustained.

Overlooking Future Damages

Many claimants neglect to account for future medical expenses and lost earning capacity. A comprehensive claim should include projected costs for ongoing care, rehabilitation, and income losses.

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Underestimating these damages can lead to insufficient compensation for long-term effects of the injury.

Accepting Early Settlement Offers

Insurers often propose settlements soon after an accident. Accepting these initial offers without proper legal advice can result in compensation that falls short of covering all damages. Before agreeing, one should consult with legal experts, especially those familiar with injury claims in specific areas such as Pittsburgh, to ensure a fair evaluation of the claim.

Social Media Missteps

Activities posted on social media platforms can contradict the severity of injuries claimed. Defense attorneys often monitor these profiles for evidence that can devalue a claim. It is advisable for plaintiffs to limit their social media presence or carefully consider the potential implications of their posts during a personal injury case.

Not Hiring Experienced Legal Representation

Navigating a personal injury claim can be intricate and without professional guidance, claimants may miss crucial legal nuances. It is paramount to enlist the help of an experienced attorney. Legal help for injuries in Pittsburgh indicates that local legal representation familiar with jurisdictional specifics can be invaluable to bolster a claim.

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