Please don’t run me over Lindsay Lohan!
Grigor Balyan, a paparazzi photographer, was snapping photos of Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay’s chauffeur sped away from the scene, but not before striking Grigor with the car. The paparazzi photographer had injuries on his hand, wrist, and leg.
However even after filing a personal injury claim, such as one for a motorcycle accident, it took years for Grigor to receive any compensation for his injuries. One of the biggest legal challenges Grigor was facing was that Lindsay Lohan kept not showing up to the court proceedings!
Thankfully, it’s not likely you have to worry about a flaky celebrity delaying your injury claim. However, there’s still a ton of obstacles you should prepare yourself to overcome.
What type of personal injury case problems are out there? Read on to find out!
Prepare for Legal Challenges With Filing
The first set of legal challenges you’ll be facing is the need to file your claim. To help you prepare for the extensive filing process, it’s helpful to have all of your information handy ahead of time.
For instance, let’s say you’re filing a personal injury claim because of a car accident that you were in. You’ll need to gather the information about both cars, including their makes, models, year number, and license plate numbers. The state of registration also matters, so you’ll want to jot that down too.
Next, you’ll need to gather information about the drivers present. If you were a passenger in the vehicle, you’ll need the full name, address, license number, and phone number of the person who was driving you. You’ll also need the full name, address, license number, and phone number of the other driver involved in the collision.
Relive the Accident
Another one of the legal challenges you’ll have to overcome is recounting the car crash in detail. To have the best chance at success with your injury claim, you’ll need a detailed recount of the entire accident. You should include everything you can remember, no matter how irrelevant it may seem.
Here are a few tips to help you remember every detail of the car crash:
- Voice record yourself
- Write it down
- Draw a picture
- Close your eyes
When you speak, your brain operates differently than when you write. By voice recording, and writing down your statement, you may be able to recall extra details from your memory.
Drawing a picture of the accident can also help jumpstart your memory, even if you’re not good at drawing. Simply the act of thinking about the accident, while you’re drawing the picture, can unleash new parts of the memory.
Another trick you can try is closing your eyes as you bring the accident to your mind. Research shows that simply closing your eyes can improve memory recall by 35% or more.
Talk to Insurance Companies
Now, you’re ready to handle one of the scariest legal challenges involved with a personal injury case, talking to the insurance companies. Once you’ve gathered your information and finished your accident statement, you can prepare to call the insurance company. However, before you press call, make sure you’re in a calm state of mind.
Whenever you’re talking to an insurance company, the words you choose can either help or hurt your case. You have to keep in mind that the goal of the insurance company is to give you as little money as possible.
Everything you say will be judged, and the wrong words could wind up damaging your case. You should never call the insurance company when you’re emotional.
Instead, wait until you have a calm frame of mind to give them a call. When you do call the insurance company, let them know that you’re filing a claim, that’s it.
Recorded Statements and Insurance Adjusters
Don’t agree to give a recorded statement, and don’t get caught up in lengthy conversations with insurance adjusters. A recorded statement is an official question and answer session the insurance company conducts. They can then take the recording, transcribe it, and have it read in court hearings.
Since car accidents are emotional, it can be easy to say something you don’t meanwhile they’re recording your statement. You might accidentally say the wrong road name, or misspeak when you’re saying how fast you were driving.
Unfortunately, even if you mistakenly say something that’s not true, the insurance company can still use your words against you. To avoid this issue, refuse to give any recorded statements when you call to file your claim. Simply state your intentions to file a claim, and then request the insurance company communicate with you through your personal injury lawyer.
If you’re not hiring a lawyer, you’ll have to talk to the insurance adjusters directly. When you talk to the insurance adjusters, stick to the facts you have written down from your recounting of the accident.
Even if the insurance adjuster is incredibly friendly, never let your guard down. Remember, the adjuster’s goal is to have the insurance company pay you as little as possible. Only tell the adjuster the facts you know, and don’t speculate about anything.
Pre-Existing Injury Case Problems
Pre-existing injuries can introduce a whole new world of legal challenges when it comes to personal injury claims. Do you have any injuries that existed before your recent injury claim began? If yes, it can be difficult proving that the accident you were in caused new injuries.
For instance, let’s say you’ve had issues with your neck before. Perhaps the issues were so bad that at some point you had to have neck surgery. Years after your neck surgery, you slip and fall at work.
The doctors give you x-rays and discover that one of the discs in your neck is bulging. Without surgery, your neck pain will only progress over time. To help pay for the surgery, you file a personal injury claim.
However, since you had neck surgery before, the defendant can argue your slip and fall didn’t cause the need for your current neck surgery. Thankfully, the challenge of pre-existing conditions can be overcome with the help of thorough record keeping.
By keeping up to date medical records that include details of your medical history, your lawyer can argue the cause of your new injuries. While your new injuries may be similar to your old ones, the right medical records can prove their not the same.
Handling Settlement Offers
You would think that getting a settlement offer would mean that your injury case is over. However, even though an insurance company offers you a settlement, that doesn’t mean you should automatically accept it.
Before you accept a settlement offer, review it thoroughly, and see if the compensation amounts add up. You should already have an idea of the minimum amount you’d be willing to accept. The minimum amount should be enough to cover your lost wages, other damages, and medical bills.
For instance, your current medical bills from the injuries, and your future medical bills, should be covered in the settlement. If an insurance company offers you a minimum settlement, accepting it could be in your best interest.
Instead of incurring more legal costs and additional expenses, you’ll finally be able to focus on getting your life back on track. However, if the settlement amount isn’t enough to cover your minimum expenses, start negotiating. You deserve to at least be able to pay your medical bills, and other damages caused by the accident.
How COVID-19 Affects Personal Injury Claims
In only 6 months, the coronavirus has completely changed the way America operates. Today 25% of coronavirus related deaths took place in the United States. To protect citizens, many services, like court systems, have temporarily shut down.
In the past, personal injury cases could go to trial to help improve your odds of getting higher compensation amounts. However, in light of the global pandemic, the majority of personal injury cases will have to settle before going to trial.
In some cases, you might be able to get your personal injury case through to 1 court hearing before settling. On top of preventing trials, the coronavirus is also slowing everything down for those going through the personal injury claims process.
You may find that you’ll experience extreme delays as you wait to resolve your claim. If the coronavirus is causing you financial hardship, make sure you don’t allow that to influence how you handle your claim.
You’ll want to avoid rushing to accept the first settlement offer, simply because you need the cash. The insurance companies know that they can exploit your situation by offering you low settlement offers.
Don’t settle for low ball compensation packages, and instead fight for the compensation you deserve. Even if it takes several renegotiations, don’t accept an unacceptable settlement offer.
Protect Your Rights
Now you know about some of the biggest legal challenges you’ll face during your injury claim. Luckily, by knowing what to expect you can take all of the right steps to protect your rights! For more ways to set yourself up for success, check out the rest of this site!
More information about dealing with personal injury accidents you can find at losangelespersonalinjuryattorn