When someone causes another person serious injury through their actions or lack thereof, the injured party usually has the right to seek compensation for what is known as a personal injury claim. Filing a lawsuit against someone whose negligence or wrongful actions resulted in provable injury or financial loss can be a way to offset the financial consequences of that person’s decisions on your life.

However, you must be proactive to protect your right to seek such compensation. Simple mistakes that you make could have a drastic impact on the success of your personal injury claim.

Never apologize or admit partial fault

Many people, especially women, grew up apologizing for just about every mistake or misstep they ever made. In fact, quite a few people will readily apologize for inconveniencing others even if the person receiving the apology is actually responsible for the situation.

For example, a driver who just got crashed into by someone else might apologize to that person upon exiting their vehicle. While you might feel like it is perfectly evident that the person you apologized to is the one responsible for the crash, they can use that apology to demonstrate that you believe you were fully or at least partially responsible for the crash.

Anyone thinking you are partially responsible could mean an allocation of comparative negligence, which is a percentage of responsibility for the situation that you carry. It can directly impact how much you can recover in court. Apologizing to law enforcement officers or insurance agents can have a similar negative impact on your claim.

Don’t exaggerate or lie in the hope of increasing your compensation

If you have mild to moderate neck pain after a crash, you may feel tempted to claim that the pain is worse than it actually is in order to seek more compensation for your injuries. Simply exaggerating your existing condition might not seem as bad as an outright lie, like faking an injury.

However, attorneys can and will review medical claims made by plaintiffs in personal injury cases. A medical specialist may be able to demonstrate to the courts that the kind of symptoms or impact you report are not realistic given the nature of your injury, and you could face outright dismissal of your claim despite it having some validity to it.

Always seek a medical evaluation and follow through on recommendations

Failing to obtain a timely diagnosis for certain injuries could mean that they get progressively worse before you see a physician. The longer you delay in seeking treatment, the more likely it is that your delay plays a role.

It’s also important that you understand that once a physician diagnoses your condition and recommends a course of treatment, you have an obligation to either seek a second opinion or complete the treatment as recommended by your physician. Failing to follow through with a treatment plan will give the defendants the opportunity to claim that your medical negligence, not the incident they caused, is responsible for the severity of your injuries and the ongoing impact the incident has had on your life.