When you’re injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence, you might think that because another person was at fault, there is absolutely no doubt that you will recover damages to compensate you for your injuries.
Not necessarily. Your actions play a major role in your potential for recovery, which will be diminished if you:
Don’t See a Doctor Immediately After Your Accident
Minimal damage to your vehicle does not necessarily mean minimal damage to your body. Even if the accident was minor and you don’t think you were injured at all, some injuries may not surface until later, so you should always seek medical treatment immediately. If you decide to put it off, an insurance company might discount the extent of your injuries and reduce the damages they are willing to pay accordingly.
Aren’t Honest About Your Injuries
You should always be honest about the extent of your injuries, never understating or overstating those injuries. After all, your medical records will be available to give a true, accurate, and unbiased account, so being consistent is very important.
Fail to Follow Your Physician’s Advice
If you are noncompliant with your doctor’s medical advice, you will likely be accused of failing to mitigate your damages, meaning that you have a duty to take reasonable steps to minimize the effects and losses related to your injuries. A defendant will often try to reduce the amount of damages he will have to pay if he can show that you didn’t follow your doctor’s advice to lessen the effects of your injury.
A personal injury case is almost never a slam-dunk, so take care to preserve it and avoid these common pitfalls.