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Nine Common Mistakes in Personal Injury Lawsuits

The scenarios described below are common mistakes made by victims or lawyers in personal injury lawsuits. Avoiding mistakes like these can improve your chances of receiving maximum compensation.

1. Not using experts. An expert witness can explain how the negligence of the defendant resulted in the plaintiff's injuries.

2. Not having good proof. If you are in a car accident, take pictures. Complete a police report. Take pictures of your injuries. Once the scene is cleared or your injuries heal, it will be much more difficult to re-create it without evidence.

3. Not being honest with your doctor. Don't try to game the system by making your injuries seem worse than they are. You will almost certainly be found out eventually.

4. Missing doctor's appointments. A missed appointment will show in your medical records, which will be seen by the defendant and his or her insurance company. This could be used by the other side to show that you were not really injured or that you don't really care. The same applies to stopping medical treatment or failing to take your medication.

5. Being careless with social media. Don't post photos of the accident, exaggerate your injuries or say that you weren't hurt in posts to your friends. Again, this will almost certainly hurt your case if discovered by an insurance company - and someone there will discover it.

6. Accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company without contacting an attorney. The insurance company will try to tell you that you don't need a lawyer because it knows that it will probably have to pay more if you have legal representation.

7. Giving statements or signing documents without getting legal advice. Again, an insurance company will tell you that you don't need to consult a lawyer before signing anything. It is almost certainly hoping that you will say that the accident was your fault or partially your fault. Similarly, don't cash checks or sign releases before consulting an attorney.

8. Not getting witness statements as soon as possible. People's memories fade.

9. Not consulting an attorney. Insurance companies have batteries of lawyers whose job it is to limit how much an insurance company pays out in benefits. Hiring your own attorney will level the playing field a little and improve your chances of getting maximum compensation.

At our Houston personal injury law firm, we have been helping clients with personal injury claims since 1951. You can rely on Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend to get it right from the beginning of your case.

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  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

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  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

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    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

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    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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