Various insurance policies and the civil court system make it possible for people who get hurt through no fault of their own to get money for their injury-related expenses. But for some people, the things they do and don’t do in the minutes, hours, and days after their injuries end up making them ineligible to receive any compensation, whether it’s from their insurance policies or the policies of the people who hurt them.
Many missteps can cause claims to be rejected or to make victims ineligible for settlements, but these three mistakes are among the most common and most impactful.
Waiting Too Long to File a Claim
The biggest pitfall for getting compensation after an injury is waiting too long to take legal action. Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date they occurred. Once those 24 months are up, you can’t get any compensation, regardless of how much evidence there is that shows the other person or party was liable for your injuries.
Waiting too long also puts your claim in jeopardy because evidence may disappear, witnesses may be more difficult to track down, and the insurance company may become more skeptical of your claim. The more time that passes between the date of your injury and the date of your claim, the stronger the insurance company’s argument will be that your injury occurred at a different time and under different circumstances.
Admitting You’re at Fault for Your Injury
After an injury, you may have a few conversations concerning what happened. Whether you’re speaking with a police officer, a property owner/manager, another driver, or an insurance adjuster, you should never admit fault for your accident or injury. Admitting fault can make it difficult or impossible to get compensation, even if evidence later shows you didn’t cause or contribute to your accident or injury.
When questioned, stick to the facts of what happened and never speculate. Even admitting partial fault can torpedo your chances of getting a settlement, as the insurance company will pounce on the slightest admission of fault and refuse to pay you the money you’re owed.
Lying About the Severity, Extent, or Origin of Your Injuries
From the moment you’re first treated by emergency responders or by your doctor, you need to be completely honest about your injuries. Never exaggerate or even downplay their severity. If the insurance company can prove that you weren’t truthful about your injuries, it won’t hesitate to reject your claim.
It’s also important to be upfront about pre-existing injuries that were aggravated by your accident. Some victims are hesitant to admit their injuries were caused previously, but failing to disclose this information often backfires, as insurance companies are known to dig through claimants’ medical files to find out if their injuries were previously diagnosed or treated.
We’re Here to Take Your Call 24/7
Although you can remain eligible to get compensation after an injury without a lawyer on your side, actually winning your claim is a different story altogether. Insurance companies have the art of reducing and rejecting claims down to a science, especially when they know they’re dealing with injured victims who have no previous experience with personal injury claims.
Between recovering from your injuries and getting back to work, you have enough on your plate already. Let the Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at Parrish DeVaughn protect you from missteps that can harm your claim and an insurance company that wants nothing more than to pay you as little as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you and your loved ones.