5 Mistakes That Could Compromise a Personal-Injury Claim

According to the Criminal Justice System, defendants in personal-injury cases often rely on expert testimony to refute the plaintiff’s claim. For this reason, plaintiffs must have strong evidence to support their claim, and they should learn the mistakes that could compromise their ability to recover damages.

Accident report

These cases are often high-stakes matters – especially when the victims have expensive medical bills and cannot return to work. Sadly, even a small mistake, such as putting off a doctor’s evaluation, could threaten your claim.

If you plan to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, then an attorney can guide you through the process and protect your interests. Albuquerque personal-injury lawyer Brian K. Branch can evaluate your case, gather evidence, negotiate your settlement and litigate your case if it goes to trial. To schedule a consultation, call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710.

In the meantime, read on to learn five mistakes to avoid after an accident with a negligent driver:

  1. Forgetting a Police Report

A police report of the incident can strengthen your claim if it shows that another driver’s negligence caused the accident. Getting a police report is especially important if you or a loved one suffered an injury.

  1. Not Talking to Witnesses

The success of your claim may rely on witness testimonies. For this reason, you should record witnesses’ contact details after a collision. You can contact them later to corroborate your version of events, and it may be less likely that the insurance company will refute your claim.

  1. Giving Statements without Legal Guidance

Accident victims often try to explain what happened to police officers at the scene. In some cases, they inadvertently admit fault.

It is even worse to implicate yourself when talking to insurance adjusters. They may ask you leading questions to get you to undermine your injuries or imply guilt. Your recorded statements could become evidence to invalidate your claim or reduce compensation. To prevent this, ask your attorney to handle correspondence with insurance adjusters.

  1. Not Fixing Your Car

It is imperative that you fix your car as soon as the insurance company provides the funds to do so. Many people make the mistake of paying for their health-care bills before repairing their vehicle. This could ultimately make your claim weaker because the other party may argue that the extent of the damage does not warrant repair, casting doubt on your injuries.

  1. Signing a General Release

If you sign a general release, then you may no longer be eligible for compensation. Often, people sign general releases due to misleading advice. They usually think they are signing releases for property damage, which is seldom the case. Do not put your signature on any release without the approval of a personal-injury attorney.

The Law Office of Brian K. Branch can guide you through the claims process. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 505-764-9710.




By |2015-07-23T11:54:10+00:00July 23rd, 2015|personal injury|40 Comments

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  1. Jordan Leavitt January 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I really like how you said that, “A police report of the incident can strengthen your claim if it shows that another driver’s negligence caused the accident.” People don’t realize that no matter how small the accident, you should always get a police report. I got hit the other day and I forgot to get a police report for it. How likely I’m I to still be able to make a claim without a police report?

  2. bkw lawyer March 18, 2016 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Good share. Your points seems to be valuable and informative to me. These five mistakes that you have mentioned are worth knowing.

    I have experienced the first mistake with my injury lawyer. Your post will help many people who gets indulged in injuries and hire lawyers to solve their case.

  3. David Hawkins March 22, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

    That’s really interesting that there are so many potential problems when dealing with a personal injury case. I’ve personally never had to deal with one of these before, but if I were on my own, I would definitely forget to talk to witnesses and get my car fixed. I think this is why experienced lawyers come in handy because they know all the pitfall to watch out for and can make sure that everything is done as it needs to be to ensure the best possible case outcome. Thanks for this awesome information on how to handle these types of cases!

  4. Nathan Johnson April 5, 2016 at 10:04 am - Reply

    I had a friend who recently concluded a long and drawn-out personal injury case. After watching her experience, it made me realize that I want to be prepared if something like this ever happens to me. I like your tips about things you can do to not mess up your personal injury case. I didn’t think that getting witnesses could be so important. Thanks for sharing!

  5. emily bennette April 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    These are some really good things to know when you are thinking about filing a personal injury claim. I particularly like the what you said about not taking any legal action without talking to a lawyer.

  6. kiyel williams April 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I had no idea there were so many simple things that could compromise your claim. It seems strange that although you were hurt the system almost seems at your disadvantage. Makes sense than to hire legal counsel to get the best advantage. Thank you for the information on personal injury claims.

  7. Diane Jackson April 14, 2016 at 10:34 am - Reply

    I think that a lot of times remembering some of these steps after an accident can be difficult. Talking to witnesses after an accident can be difficult, especially if you are seriously hurt. I do like the tip to not giving statements without legal guidance. Never admitting fault is really key.

  8. John Carston April 25, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I wasn’t sure what exactly needed to happen after a car accident but I’m glad I found the information here. In case of a situation like this I’ll need to remember to get a police report, make sure I have witnesses, call my lawyer before giving a statement and signing a release, and fixing my car as soon as the funds are available. I’ll be looking up more information on personal injury attorney’s after this but this info has been very helpful. Thanks for the info.

  9. Brian Graber April 26, 2016 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Thanks for this helpful information I agree with all points you have given to us. I will follow all of them.

  10. Jackie Oliver April 27, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I really like what you said about always talking to witnesses after an accident. That is such a good thing to remember. I also really like what you said about always fixing your car after something happens. I mean, that’s what they funds are for, so it makes sense. This is just a nice little reminder.

  11. Jackie Oliver May 3, 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    This is so good to read before you are ever in accident. That way, you are prepared if something were to happen. I knew a few of them, but one I didn’t think about was giving a statement without a legal representative. I will be sure to remember this, just in case.

  12. Sarah Smith May 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    My cousin is trying to get a personal injury attorney but she wants to make sure that she doesn’t make a mistake. I’ll have to make sure that before she meets with a personal injury attorney that she makes sure that the witness statements don’t put her at fault. Thanks for the warnings about mistakes that could prevent you from winning your case.

  13. Kyle Oren May 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Fixing your car as soon as possible after an accident is amazing advice. I don’t think most people consider the impact it could have on their case if they didn’t fix the vehicle. I have a close friend who was in an accident recently and i’m sure they could benefit from this article. I’ll send them the link.

  14. Lillian Moore May 24, 2016 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    I was surprised that witnesses would need to be involved in an injury claim. I smashed my hand at my job recently and there was no one around but there was a video camera that caught the whole thing. Does that count as a witness? I know it may be different for job-related injuries but I assumed that car injuries could be similar if it is a hit and run accident during a low traffic time.

  15. April Cook May 26, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I didn’t know that not fixing your car right away could weaken your case. There are so many things that you can do to mess things up. i can see why it is important to hire a personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the situation and make sure you don’t sabotage yourself! Thanks for all this information. I’ll keep it in mind in case i’m ever in an accident.

  16. John Carston June 2, 2016 at 10:30 am - Reply

    After an accident it can be difficult to remember what should be done in the confusion. I’ll have to commit these tips to memory so I’m prepared if an accident liek this were to happen in the future, like filing a police report and talking to witnesses. I’ll be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer if something like this happens in the future. Thanks for the great advice.

  17. Aria Wellington June 7, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I actually hadn’t even thought about having legal guidance while giving a statement. That seems like a really great thing to do because they would be able to advise you on what to say and what not to say to better help your case. I think that having a lawyer throughout the entire process would be really helpful.

  18. Braden Bills April 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I want to make sure that I handle my personal injury claim properly. It makes sense that I would want to get a personal injury attorney! It seems like they would be able to take care of it properly.

  19. Lillian Schaeffer April 13, 2017 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I appreciate your advice to have an attorney handle the correspondence with insurance adjusters. My husband was in a car accident, and we don’t want to make any mistakes that would weaken or destroy our case. Maybe it would be a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney soon so they can take care of corresponding with insurance adjusters and so they can advise us on how to proceed.

  20. Gary G April 18, 2017 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Great info on here, thanks so much for sharing, I think finding shortcuts is the downfall to a compromise

  21. Schiffrinpa April 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I really agree with the above points you shared. The most important point was first about forgetting a police report which usually happens. In any of the personal injury matters don’t hesitate to claim. Try to take help of lawyers for further process. This points will really help to all those who think before filing a personal injury claim.

  22. Max Jones May 3, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I really like how you talked about being careful to not admit fault at an accident, and to let a personal injury attorney take care of communication between police and insurance. I think that I could benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney after being in a car accident earlier this week. Luckily, I was careful not to admit fault, at the accident, but I would love to have a personal injury lawyer help me get the necessary compensation from the incident, and not get shorted by the insurance company.

  23. Ivy Baker May 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    This is some really good information about personal injury claims. I didn’t realize that not talking to witnesses could hurt your case. If I ever get hurt and there are a witness I should make sura that I ask them for their contact information. It does seem like a good idea to have a professional lawyer help you get the actual statements.

  24. Kimminau Law Firm P.C. July 14, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

    This is really great information about personal injury claims. This post will help many people who get indulged in injuries and hire lawyers to solve their case. Thanks for this helpful content.

  25. Aronberg Law July 15, 2017 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing the article. It’s very useful. Hope to hear more from you.

  26. Zequek Estrada July 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Some of these mistakes you can make while filing a claim were surprising. I wasn’t aware it was a mistake to wait till after paying for the health care bills to repair your vehicle. I imagine the best way to prevent any of these mistakes is to call an attorney as soon as possible.

  27. Derek Dewitt July 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    My cousin has been looking into hiring an auto accident lawyer for his case and wants to make sure he gets a competent representative. I like that you suggest fixing your car before the health-care bill because the other party may doubt that the damages done and hurt your claim. I don’t think that he has paid for any medical bills yet because he was worried about something similar. I’ll be sure to pass this on to him. Thanks for the tips!

  28. Sandra Hexner August 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tips about an auto accident. My sister just got in one and I want her to make the right choices when it comes to the car accident. I’m so glad that you mentioned that she shouldn’t communicate with the insurance companies until she has legal help.

  29. Quicklegal September 1, 2017 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Consult with a lawyer before you decide to settle your case. You don’t even have to hire the lawyer. By talking to a lawyer, you will be better informed about fair settlements for your case than if you don’t.

  30. Braden Bills September 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I was injured in an accident, and I’m not sure what to do. It makes sense that I would want to ensure that I get a police report! When I end up getting a personal injury lawyer, they would definitely appreciate that.

  31. Krasney law September 7, 2017 at 5:52 am - Reply

    I don’t have any idea how to handle injury cases?

  32. Raisa Delima September 14, 2017 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Wow, I never knew that there were so many things that could compromise your injury claim! I wouldn’t know the right information to get from the witnesses like you suggested, so I would definitely need to work with a lawyer so that this will be taken care of. Overall, I think I would just have so much more peace of mind working with someone who has done this many times before. Thanks for helping me understand why working with a lawyer is so important!

  33. Krasney Law September 15, 2017 at 6:05 am - Reply


    Very well describe five mistakes that compromise a personal injury claim. Well, keep it up.

  34. Jordan Curry September 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I think it’s always confusing in knowing if you need a personal injury lawyer. Like whether the injury is serious enough or if you’re too scared to cough of too much money for a lawyer. But this article lays it out great in which proper steps to take if you need a lawyer.

  35. Ken Hwan September 16, 2017 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    I like your point that witnesses can be extremely important when it comes to a personal injury claim. It might also be worthwhile to take a quick video on your phone getting everyone’s name and phone numbers. You can also show the aftermath of the accident.

  36. Katie Dunn September 24, 2017 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    My roommate just got into a car accident and has already contacted a personal injury lawyer, but she has yet to fix her car. I’m not sure whether or not her insurance company has provided the funds just yet though. How long does it usually take for such funds to be provided after an incident?

  37. Joy Butler September 28, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    My sister was involved in an accident and has sustained some serious injuries. She is still recovering from them but the doctors said that it may not be a full recovery. Would it be possible to hire a lawyer for this? My sister may not be able to work for a long time of ever and we’d like to put justice to what happened to her.

  38. Becca Holton October 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I thought this made a good point of covering different aspects you should overlook if you’re planning on filling. I wouldn’t have guessed that it would be better to fix your car sooner than paying for health bills. Overall, it seems like getting legal assistance might be the best way to help you avoid making any of these mistakes.

  39. Elsa Anderson November 14, 2017 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    I liked that you mentioned how it can be a bad move to talk without a personal injury attorney since they may ask you questions that may lead you to inadvertently admit that it’s your fault. I’d be sure to keep this in mind whenever I’ll be in an accident. I’ll have a personal injury attorney ready on call if I ever need the help. Thanks for the helpful article on what to avoid to prevent compromising a personal injury claim!

  40. Becca Holton January 12, 2018 at 1:12 am - Reply

    I wasn’t aware that it was better to fix your car before pay for health care bills. I would have guessed that was the other way around. However, after reading the explanation of why the order matters, it makes sense. I feel like a way to avoid issues would be to call a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

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