Suffering an injury is a distressing experience, and pursuing a personal injury claim through the courts can be an important step toward seeking compensation for your losses. There are different laws about personal injury claims across Australia, and the processes vary depending on whether your injury happened at work, in a public place, while driving, or as the result of crime. However, regardless of the cause of your personal injury, it is crucial to be aware of the common mistakes that can undermine your claim and potentially reduce the chances of a successful outcome.
In this article, we will highlight several key mistakes to avoid when pursuing a personal injury claim. This information is general only and we recommend obtaining legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Mistake 1: Not Notifying the Relevant People
One of the critical mistakes people make after an injury is failing to notify the relevant individuals or authorities. Depending on the circumstances, this may involve notifying your employer, the police for motor vehicle accidents, or healthcare providers.
Failure to report an incident promptly can weaken your claim and create challenges when establishing liability or proving the severity of your injuries. It is crucial to report the incident to the appropriate parties as soon as possible to ensure a clear and documented record of the incident.
Mistake 2: Not Keeping Good Records
Proper record-keeping is essential for building a strong personal injury claim. Failing to keep detailed records of important information can harm your case. Maintain a record of dates, times, and locations related to the incident, as well as a chronology of events leading up to and following the injury.
It is also important to gather contact information of any witnesses present during the incident. You should also keep copies of medical records, bills, and any correspondence related to the injury. These records will help substantiate your claim and provide crucial evidence.
Mistake 3: Not Following Doctor’s Advice
Consistency in attending medical appointments and following your doctor’s advice is essential for both your recovery and your personal injury claim. Failing to seek medical attention promptly or missing scheduled appointments can raise doubts about the severity of your injuries or your commitment to recovery.
Insurance companies and other defendants may use this against you to undermine your claim. It is important to prioritise your health and follow through with medical recommendations to support the legitimacy of your claim.
Mistake 4: Posting on Social Media
In today’s digital age, social media can have a significant impact on personal injury claims. Posts that contradict any aspect of your claim can be detrimental to your case. For instance, if your injury causes debilitation but your posts imply that you are leading an active lifestyle this can be raised as evidence in court.
It is wise to be cautious with your social media presence during the claims process. Insurance companies and defence lawyers often scrutinise claimants’ social media profiles for evidence that can be used against them. It is a good general rule for you to avoid discussing your case or posting photos or videos that could be misinterpreted.
Mistake 5: Not Getting Legal Advice
Attempting to handle your personal injury compensation claim without legal guidance is a common mistake. Personal injury law is complex, and insurance companies have teams of experienced adjusters and lawyers working to protect their interests.
Without legal representation, you may not fully understand your rights, the value of your claim, or the negotiation strategies employed by the opposing party. Engaging a skilled personal injury lawyer ensures that your interests are protected and increases your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Mistake 6: Not Reporting Psychological Symptoms
Physical injuries can have both short-term and long-term psychological effects including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In turn, poor mental health can negatively impact on recovery rates of the physical injury or illness and may impact your ability to work and participate in life. As such, your psychological symptoms are important to your personal injury claim. You should report to your doctor and your lawyer if you are experiencing psychological impacts such as anxiety, memory issues or nightmares following your injury.
Mistake 7: Delaying Too Long
Timing is crucial when pursuing a personal injury claim. There are specific time limitations known as the statute of limitations that dictate how long you have to file a claim. Waiting too long to take legal action can result in your claim being time-barred and potentially losing the opportunity to seek compensation. It is essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident to understand the applicable time limits and ensure your claim is filed within the required timeframe.
You can be injured or suffer loss in almost any area of life whether that is at work, in a motor vehicle accident, in a public place or while receiving medical treatment. Depending upon where the injury occurred, whether or not you were at fault, and your degree of injury, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
No matter what type of claim you are making, it is important to protect your rights and avoid making mistakes that might jeopardise your chances of obtaining the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.