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Published On: Fri, Feb 15th, 2019

Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Personal Injury Negotiation

Negotiating with the other party when you’re seeking injury compensation is not an easy process. It’s even worse if you find yourself fighting against a large corporation that used to be your employer. First of all, you know that the company will have lawyers on their side who are experts in dealing with personal injury claims. You’ll also very likely have to deal with the insurance company trying to find a way to limit or even invalidate your claim. Despite all of that, you could still come out victorious if you know how to handle the situation correctly each step of the way. By avoiding the mistakes detailed below, you will maximise your chances.

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Agreeing to a recorded statement

Any recorded material is admissible in court provided that the party obtained it legally. Therefore, even the most seemingly harmless comment that’s on record could come back to haunt you. Unless your lawyer is by your side and you receive advice from them that it is wise to release a recorded statement, you should avoid it. The insurance company interviewing you will send trained experts who will ask strategic questions to try and get you to say something that could be used against you later down the line.

Lying to the insurance company

Be honest in providing any information to the insurance company. Lying or making a mistake that could be interpreted later as a lie could easily derail your entire case. Not to mention that you’d also be breaking the law. Even exaggerating the extent of your injury and its consequences is dangerous ground. Instead of maximising your claim, you could end up with nothing. Your credibility as a claimant is everything.

Submitting medical records immediately

The insurance company does not need to see your medical records to start the investigation. You will only need to provide these records when you are nearing the end of your treatment. There could be changes in the treatment and thus waiting is both more convenient and more accurate.

Letting your guard down

Even if you’re having regular amicable conversations with the insurance company representative or the lawyers of the other party, you need to be mindful of what you’re saying. If you let your guard down, they could extract damaging information from you. If you are ever unsure of what to say, or feel you need further information to give an accurate response, simply decline the question.

Choosing the wrong words

You need to describe your medical condition carefully and accurately. Using the wrong terminology could easily hurt your case. Also, avoid using terms that you may not fully understand from a legal perspective, like “reckless” or “negligent“. When retelling the incident, you need to stick to the facts and your own perspective as it happened. But also avoid the inclusion of unnecessary personal information.

By avoiding these mistakes, you will have a much stronger chance of receiving a reasonable settlement. You also need the best lawyer by your side to represent you and ensure that you know what to do throughout the entire process.

Author: Jayce Redford

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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