If you've sustained a serious injury from negligence or malpractice, you know how stressful the consequences can be. The injury may leave you unable to work or with big medical bills. It may even be life-altering, in all sorts of ways.
You may decide that your next step is filing a personal injury claim. The process can seem daunting at first, and you must be careful not to make mistakes that could get your claim rejected.
What are some common mistakes that could harm your personal injury claim? We will discuss three errors to avoid in this post.
Not seeking medical attention
Receiving medical attention after sustaining an injury is important for two reasons. First, it is important for you to put your health first and to receive attention for your injury. Second, it will also develop medical records to be used when you file your claim. Documenting your condition is important to building a strong claim for injury compensation.
Not hiring an attorney of your own
You may be convinced - either by yourself or by the insurance company - that you don't need to hire an attorney.
This could be because you're used to taking care of yourself - and therefore want to somehow tough it out on your own after suffering an injury. Or you may tend to view attorneys as a whole in a negative way.
Even people with concerns about attorneys in general, however, usually view their own attorney favorably. The reality is that you need someone who is more familiar with the claims process than you are to protect your interests.
An attorney will do this and help you seek proper compensation for your injury. Otherwise, if you are without representation, insurance companies may try to take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the process and reject your claim.
Missing the statute of limitations
In Minnesota, there is a limit on how long you have to file a personal injury claim after suffering an injury. This is known as the "statute of limitations."
The general rule is that an injured person has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim.
Minnesota law allows for longer time periods, however, to bring certain types of claims. This includes four years for a medical malpractice claims and four years for injuries caused by defective products.
In addition, the limitations period can be extended under circumstances specified by statute. For example, if the injured person is a minor, the limitations period does not begin to run until he or she turns 18.
What Comes Next?
In the time following an injury, you may feel overwhelmed, uncertain or angry. Pursuing legal action may heighten these feelings and make you more prone to making mistakes that could get your claim rejected. Understanding your rights and speaking with an attorney ahead of time will help you move forward and pursue the best possible outcome.