Avoid These Common Plaintiff Mistakes in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When an accident results in personal injuries and other damages, liable parties should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Injury victims can do their part to ensure that happens by filing a personal injury claim.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, so their actions can make or break a case. Personal injury attorney Lynn C. Harris can help injury victims from Salt Lake City, UT, Provo, UT, and surrounding areas avoid common plaintiff mistakes in a personal injury lawsuit, so that they get the maximum compensation they are due for injury damages.
Failure to Obtain Legal Representation
Injury victims can pursue financial compensation for accident damages without hiring a personal injury attorney. Representing yourself in a lawsuit sounds like an easy way to save money, so this is what many people choose to do. This is actually one of the biggest mistakes a plaintiff can make.
An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney understands the law and is able to strengthen the validity of a personal injury claim. In most instances, plaintiffs who have professional legal representation collect much larger financial settlements, which more than makes up for attorney fees. We strongly advise injury victims to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following their accident.
Failure to Collect Sufficient Evidence
Evidence is the foundation of a personal injury case, so the more evidence that a plaintiff has, the better. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of an accident, injury victims may be unable to collect evidence, or simply too shocked to think about it.
If at all possible, injury victims should collect evidence from the scene of an accident. Good sources of evidence include photos, witness testimony and/or contact information, and a police report. Attorney Lynn C. Harris works with his Salt Lake City clients to collect this type of evidence as well as medical records and expert testimony, all of which build a stronger case.
Exaggerating or Providing Inconsistent Testimony
Most plaintiffs have never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit before. This can be a stressful experience. Whether it is nerves or inexperience, plaintiffs sometimes exaggerate the circumstances of their case, such as the details of the accident or the extent of their injuries and losses, or provide inconsistent testimony.
Honest and consistent testimony is the best way to establish credibility in a personal injury case. We work closely with our clients to review the details of their case and discuss the things that should and should not be said in a deposition.
Accepting the Initial Settlement Offer
Many personal injury cases are settled without actually going to trial, which can be highly beneficial. However, just because a settlement offer is made, that doesn’t mean the plaintiff needs to accept it. Sometimes plaintiffs feel pressure to accept an offer because they believe it is the only way to guarantee a financial payout.
In actuality, most personal injury negotiations involve a lot of back and forth, and more than one settlement offer. A defendant’s first offer is rarely their best. When an offer is made, it is best for plaintiffs to discuss the offer with a personal injury attorney to determine if it is worth accepting.
Missing the Statute of Limitations Deadline
Plaintiffs don’t always realize that they only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. In the state of Utah, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is four years. This may seem like a lot of time, but it goes faster than people anticipate and some plaintiffs miss the deadline. To avoid this costly mistake, injury victims should seek legal representation in the early weeks or months following an accident.
Get Your Case Started
If you are considering a personal injury claim, you can strengthen your case by working with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, such as Lynn C. Harris. To schedule a legal consultation, send us a message online, or call us at (801) 375-9801.