Did you know that each year, there are thousands of personal injury claims in the United States? Out of these cases, only 4 percent go to trial. The rest of the cases either fail or are settled out of court.
Every personal injury claim is unique. The settlement amount you receive will depend on your case’s details, what you do after the accident, your attorney, and more. If you have a personal injury claim, you want to not only ensure that it does not fail but that you also get the maximum settlement.
The reality is that, from the moment you suffer an injury because of another person’s negligence, the steps you take after the accident can either make or break your claim. Let us share with you some tips that can help you increase your compensation.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
The first thing that you need to know after an accident is whether or not you are entitled to compensation. You also want to make sure that you get everything right. To do this, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney will ensure that your case is filled one time as per the statute of limitations. They will also guide you on what to do so that you get the best settlement possible. Once your attorney files the case, you will have enough time to gather all the evidence needed.
An expert personal injury attorney will know how to preserve the evidence and use it to build a strong case. Throughout the case, maintain a constant communication channel with your lawyer. If you make any mistake or remember something about the accident, let them know about it immediately.
See a Doctor
Often people tend to underestimate their injuries and fail to go to the hospital immediately after an accident. Seeing a doctor will not only ensure that all your injuries are well looked after to prevent complications, but doctors’ reports are important court documents in personal injury lawsuits.
One of the main factors that insurance companies, lawyers, or the court use to value a claim is the treatment that the victim receives after the accident. The tests, medication, treatment, and therapy you receive will act as compelling evidence of your injuries.
Should you go to court, this evidence will be introduced by an expert or the treating physician. Remember, you should follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter and keep all your hospital records well.
If you don’t honor your doctor’s appointments, the defense can argue that you were not injured, and therefore, deserve no compensation.
Evaluate Your Damages Fully
A broken limb or other physical injuries may not be all you are dealing with. You can also claim for:
- Loss of earnings
- Emotional damages
- Loss of future earning
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Try to make sure that you consider all the damages that you have incurred and include them in your claim. Your lawyer should be able to help you know what to claim for and also how to claim for them.
Consider Future Damages
The payouts given are always an addition to the compensation that you receive for out of pocket expenses. If, for example, the injuries you sustained have a long-term treatment plan, you should also include the same to your claim.
Your attorney will also take note of such injuries while calculating how much settlement you should receive.
It is impossible to get a good settlement amount without proper evidence. Preserve evidence and records such as:
- Police reports
- Your statement
- The picture you took at the scene
- Video records
- Witness statements, names, phone numbers, and addresses
- Hospital records including receipts, tests, medication
- Pictures of the injuries sustained
- OSHA forms for work-related injuries
Hand these and any other record you might have to your attorney. Every detail that you record about the accident can help you get fair compensation.
Giving false statements about pre-existing medical conditions can kill your case or reduce your claim. Do not lie to your doctor about your medical history, whether related to the accident or not.
The defense lawyer will try to uncover your medical history and will use it to defeat your case if you lied. Being honest ensures that your lawyer is not be ambushed by the defense team with incriminating evidence.
It would be best if you also were honest with the extent of the injuries. Remember, the defense or insurance company will try to look for any evidence to lower the compensation amount. Therefore, they might put surveillance around you and follow your every move just to catch you in a lie.
If, for example, you claimed to have sustained a severe injury or broken a limb, and you are seen walking comfortably around your home, then your case is likely to collapse.
A lie will compromise your credibility, and this will also affect the value of your claim. You might not receive maximum compensation. Tell the police the truth concerning the accident.
Remember, lying in court is also fraudulent. Stick to the truth at all times. This way, you will also not give different statements.
Keep a Low Profile
During your case, the press, insurance adjusters, and defense team may try to contact you. Leave the talking to your lawyer.
Do not talk about your ongoing case with anyone else except with your personal injury lawyer. You might accidentally say something that can affect your settlement.
You should also avoid giving out details of the accident on your social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. For example, avoid posting pictures about the accident as it could disrupt your case.
Do Not Settle Quickly
If you sustain an injury because of negligence, you have the right to file for a claim. Do not underestimate your claim and settle quickly. You can receive compensation for losses that you are not even aware of.
The defense and insurance company can be very quick to offer a settlement, especially if they sense that you might end up getting high compensation. Keep in mind that the first settlement is always less than what you deserve.
Do not accept the first offer even if it’s acceptable. You might be cutting yourself too short. Allow your attorney to handle all correspondence and review the offer before you accept it.
Rejecting an offer will give the impression of enough evidence and your willingness to go to court to get more. The defendant will reconsider their offer. Get ready to negotiate until you get the best offer.
If you choose to drop the case, involve your attorney; try not to sign any documents without them. You might sign away your rights without knowing.
Make a Good Impression
Making a good impression during any legal proceedings like the deposition or trial can have a very significant impact on your claim. You will first meet the defense lawyer at your deposition. During this time, they will try to find out a lot of information about you and the case.
This is also where they will predict if you are a sympathetic or likable witness. They will try to check out if you know and understand your case, if you are honest, well-spoken, polite, showed up on time, and if you have dressed appropriately.
If you make a good impression during the deposition, the defense might offer you a fair settlement because they know that you will also make a good impression during the trial. This can affect the jurors’ decision. It is in your best interest to maintain a good impression.
Work on Your Case
One of the best defenses you have is your work ethic. Get ready to put your time and energy into your case. Stay in touch with your attorney, help them build a strong case, and be there whenever they need you.
This will help you maximize your claim because if you have a strong case, you will put pressure on the defense, and this will result in a fair settlement. If you do not work on your case, the defense will also use that to their advantage and offer you less.
Consider These Tips to Maximize Your Settlement Amount
After filing for a personal injury claim, the next step you may want to take is to know how to maximize your settlement amount. It is important that you get maximum compensation for your damages. These tips will help you get what you deserve.
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