The first question most personal injury clients have when they meet with an attorney is: “Will I win my case?”
After all, no one wants to go through the process of filing a case, and potentially going to trial, if there is no hope of walking away with compensation.
When someone is injured in an accident (whether slip and fall, car accident, SEPTA accident or motorcycle accident, etc.), it is natural to have concerns. Medical expenses are draining your bank accounts, the option of work is no longer on the table, and now you must decide whether or not to pursue compensation through a lawsuit.
While there is no magic formula or way for your attorney to guarantee an outcome – and you would never want an attorney who “guarantees” an unpredictable outcome – there are factors that increase the likelihood you will succeed in your injury case and receive the compensation you deserve.
Naturally, you should consult with an attorney to see if you have a qualifying case and explore your options.
10 Factors That Affect the Chances of Success in a Philadelphia Injury Claim
If you want to maximize the chances you will succeed and receive compensation, you need to know these critical factors that can make even a valid claim fail:
1. Lack of Evidence
The more evidence you have, the higher your chances are that you will succeed. You have plenty of evidence to preserve long before you meet with an attorney. Therefore, from the moment of your accident, you need to work on protecting that evidence.
Just a few items you will want to ensure you keep:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Medical receipts and bills
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical records
- Witness information
- A copy of the police report (if taken)
- A list of prescriptions you take or have taken while you recover
- Copies of your medical records
- Vehicle repair costs
- Any cost you paid out-of-pocket for the accident
2. Not Seeking Medical Treatment Right Away
It is common for accident victims to put off medical treatment. You might feel fine initially, but the next day or a few days later symptoms start to present. You might shrug them off, assuming they will get better. And before you know it, you are in pain, uncomfortable, and in the emergency room where you will be rushed off to surgery.
Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the easier it is for insurance companies and their attorneys to argue that your new symptoms are not related to the accident. Or they may argue that you are exaggerating them. After all, if you were so seriously injured, why didn’t you seek medical treatment that day and not a few days later?
3. Being Too Eager to Settle
Insurance companies prey on victims that have medical bills and no way to pay them. They know you are desperate to get out of debt and cover your living expenses. Therefore, if you show any signs of being eager, they will settle – but for much less than you deserve, knowing that you will take whatever you can get.
4. Talking Too Much at the Scene
While you need to share details with emergency personnel and officers taking reports, you do not need to disclose more information than necessary. Also, you should never apologize to the other party. Even if you did not cause the accident, your apology can be used against you as a way to say that you caused the accident.
5. Waiting Too Long to Speak to an Attorney
The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the more likely it is that your case will hit a few blocks. Your attorney might have a harder time locating witnesses or some evidence disappears. The sooner an attorney gets involved, the easier it is to preserve evidence and find witnesses.
6. Posting on Social Media
Social media is one thing you should avoid during your injury case. Anything you post can be found by an investigator, and the investigator will do their best to say that you were not injured, you lied about the accident, or you shared key details that were strictly confidential.
7. Ignoring Your Doctor’s Orders
You might have sought medical treatment, but then you did not go to follow-up appointments, take your medications as prescribed, or do what you were told to recover. The longer you prolong your injuries, or cause further injuries by ignoring your physician’s orders, the less likely you are to win a case. You have a duty to minimize the damages, which means obeying doctor’s orders and caring for yourself so that you recover.
8. Saying Too Much to the Insurance Company
The insurance claims’ adjuster for the other party will contact you. Their primary goal is to hear your side of the story and see where they could minimize damages. The more information you share, the harder it might be to win a case later. Therefore, avoid talking to the insurance company. Instead, tell them that you will give a statement only in the presence of your attorney.
9. Not Hiring an Attorney at All
The chances of succeeding against an insurance company and their team of attorneys goes down dramatically when you do not have a lawyer on your side. Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you have no risks when hiring one, and they put the odds back in your favor.
10. Not Disclosing Everything to Your Attorney
If you hire an attorney, you must disclose everything and be honest. Even if you worry it will hinder your case, leaving out key details can give the other side the advantage. This is because your attorney is not prepared to give a response argument in court when they have no clue about the issue in the first place. Always be honest with your attorney and remember that they are looking out for your best interests. Furthermore, you have attorney-client confidentiality, which means what you share cannot be told to others without your consent.
Speak with an Injury Attorney and Increase the Chances of Success
If you were seriously injured in an accident, seek medical treatment right away. Then, contact an injury attorney like Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq.
To get started, schedule a free consultation by calling his office at 215-987-3550, toll-free at 800-465-8795, or cell at 215-771-0430, or fill out the online contact form to get started.