Common Mistakes Made by Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Lawsuits
Millions of Americans suffer personal injuries each year, most of which are the direct result of another party’s reckless or negligent actions. Personal injuries often result in significant physical and financial losses. If someone else is responsible for these damages, they should be held accountable.
Serving Longview, TX, personal injury attorneys Randy Akin and Greg Burton represent accident victims in personal injury lawsuits, fighting to get them the maximum financial compensation they are due. Their experience and knowledge strengthens their clients’ cases and helps them avoid the most common mistakes made by plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits.
Choosing Not to Hire an Attorney
When someone is ill they typically seek out professional medical care, if a person’s car breaks down they generally bring it to a professional mechanic for repair, yet when it comes to seeking financial compensation for injury damages, many people choose to handle the matter on their own. This is one of the biggest mistakes that a plaintiff can make. Defendants, or their insurance company, want nothing more than to settle a complaint quickly while paying little money to the injury victim. When they see that a plaintiff is not represented by an experienced attorney, they use that to their advantage.
Attorneys are invaluable in personal injury cases. Personal injury attorneys understand the law, they know the type of evidence that is necessary to build a strong case, and they realize the financial value of various injury damages. This knowledge strengthens a case and makes it much more likely that plaintiffs will collect the financial payout they deserve for injury damages.
Providing Inconsistent Testimony
When a plaintiff is pursuing a personal injury claim, they will be asked to provide testimony various times. Often a statement is given to involved insurance companies shortly after the injury occurs. When a case is filed, plaintiffs answer questions in a deposition, and if the case goes to trial, they will testify in court. It is vital that a plaintiff’s testimony is consistent every time. Unfortunately, plaintiffs often change their testimony, either because they are nervous, forget accident details over time, or feel compelled to exaggerate the details of their accident.
Our Longview personal injury attorneys help clients sort out the details of an accident so that they can keep their story straight. We advise that clients make notes regarding the details of the accident. We then go over plaintiff testimony repeatedly so that they are fully prepared for any questions that may be asked, and feel confident sharing the facts of the case as many times as necessary.
Lack of Sufficient Evidence
Even if a plaintiff can provide consistent testimony, their case will not be strong without sufficient evidence to back up their claims. In a personal injury lawsuit, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, so the more evidence they have, the better. If possible, injury victims should begin collecting evidence at the scene of the accident. Useful evidence includes photos, witness testimony and contact information, and a police report. As our attorneys work on a personal injury case, they will collect any other necessary evidence, which is likely to include medical records, medical bills, and income statements (to show lost wages).
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
Some personal injury lawsuits go all the way to trial, but most are settled out of court. While a settlement is often beneficial, plaintiffs should not rush to accept the first settlement offer that the defense makes. In most cases, the defense is prepared to negotiate, and will often increase their offer if the initial settlement is not accepted. And if the defense is not willing to negotiate, our Longview attorneys are always prepared to go to court to fight for the full compensation our clients are due.
Get In Touch
If you are seeking financial compensation for personal injury damages, our attorneys can help you obtain and appropriate settlement. To discuss the details of your injury with our legal team, send us a message online, or call (903) 297-8929 to schedule a consultation.