Personal injury cases are typically quite complex because several dynamics can affect the claiming process. First, it’s often challenging to penalize the party at fault, which makes it much harder to recover the loss of property or money for the ones who go through the injury.
But there are several reasons why this process has become too complicated. One of the primary reasons is that the defendants don’t prepare the case well enough. In addition, many people need help understanding what an injury claim is and how they should hire a lawyer.
On top of that, if you hire a lawyer that needs to profoundly understand personal injury law, it can be challenging to get a fruitful outcome for your efforts. This post will discuss common mistakes made by personal injury defendants and how they affect a client’s case.
Hence, it can help you hire the right personal injury attorney to help you win the case and receive compensation for your injury.
- Insufficient Preparation for the Personal Injury Case
This may be a surprising mistake, but a lot of lawyers tend to be underprepared for personal injury cases. And it’s one of the most common mistakes made by defendants. At times, defense attorneys have a considerable workload, so they have more cases to deal with.
As a result, they can easily miss out on critical details of the case and often ignore the damages owed to the plaintiff. Hence, it’s essential that the personal injury lawyer has a firm grip on the critical bits of the case to ensure success for their clients.
- Overlooking the Employment History of a Plaintiff
Attorneys also make the grave mistake of deposing the key witnesses only based on liability. They often need to pay more attention to a plaintiff’s employment history and compensation history. Critical figures such as the unemployment period must be determined to obtain a better position in a case.
When the plaintiff’s side has complete knowledge about the employment and other related facts, it helps them during the case, even if the defendants don’t discuss the issue in court.
- Incomplete Document Discovery
Often, since attorneys need more time due to caseload, they are likely to miss out on some critical documentation too. As a result, they fail to verify the plaintiff’s claims in the documents, which often leads the insurance company to pay more damages.
Particularly in the case of personal injury claims, the attorney should collect every essential document to ensure that there are no missing documents. By not obtaining enough documentation, the lawyers create an extra financial burden on the company.
- Insufficient Knowledge about Mitigation
In a personal injury claim, a critical aspect relates to understanding the mitigation. For example, when a plaintiff is severely injured but gets back to work after healing, there can be an impact on their future income based on the money they receive as compensation.
The mitigation of damages is determined based on the opinions of medical experts. The experts also suggest what the plaintiff could do after they recover and the expected income from it.
However, defense attorneys don’t retain vocational experts to save more money. But plaintiffs often keep the vocational experts, which works in their favor and proves costly for the insurance company.
- Leaving Out a Damage Expert From the Case
Personal injury claims must be thoroughly analyzed; the best way to do it is to onboard a damages expert. Unfortunately, defendants sometimes don’t consult a damages expert early enough. That happens when the lawyers believe the result will settle in their favor.
However, if the case goes to trial, it can prompt the need for a damage expert, which is then quite late for the defense. So, if the plaintiff is well prepared, it can be difficult for the defendants to win the case from that position.
- Inaccurate Depiction of Lost Earnings
Of course, the plaintiff demands the most significant repair damages in a personal injury case. This number is projected according to the severity of the injury. A vocational expert usually determines this number, and experts from both sides discretely determine it.
However, when the defense doesn’t onboard a vocational expert, they are likely to mistake for a more significant number, which is not the plaintiff’s fault.
Vocational experts address vital aspects such as
- Employment trends
- Expected impact due to injury
- Performance of plaintiffs who suffered similar injuries
- Loss Projection for a Longer Duration
Attorneys who need to be better equipped with the case details can also make unneeded and long projections for lost earnings. For instance, a plaintiff can argue that they need damage compensation until they turn 65 or 70. In terms of law, it’s called life expectancy.
The defense often argues that the plaintiff won’t be expected to work for that long. However, this is where a vocational expert testimony could make the difference. The vocational expert may testify that the Social Security Administration had increased the youngest age for GenX-ers to claim social security to 67 years.
It means that the plaintiff may be working till the age of 70. Hence, it could lead to an unusually long duration for the loss projection.
- Projecting Lost Earnings at Higher Growth Rate
When plaintiffs are preparing the case for an expected damage repair compensation, they typically include medical experts, vocational experts, economists, etc., to help them identify the value of damages. These estimates are based on lost wages.
In most cases, the defense would argue that the expected lost earnings are too high. However, the defense doesn’t include professional experts, so they need solid evidence or insights about the exact damage cost. Hence, it leads to an unexpectedly high growth rate for the insurance company.
During a personal injury case, poor onboarding of experts and lack of insights into the case can often lead to irreparable damages for the defense team. Hence, these mistakes prove too costly, prompting the defendants to replace attorneys and hire more professional lawyers.