Insurance companies, like all other corporations, are concerned primarily about the profit they make and as such, are loyal to their shareholders. As a claimant, this shouldn’t deter you from pressing for a fair personal injury settlement, but should serve as a reminder that you need to be careful if you’re intent on maximizing the settlement.
Whether you choose to settle the case on your own or hire an attorney to take care of everything, you’ll have to be wary from the start and have an effective strategy in place. Here are some tips to keep in mind that will help you maximize your personal injury settlement.
Document Everything You Can
The better you’re able to document all your injuries and losses, the more your chances of being compensated for medical treatment, loss of pay, and other expenses. So gather evidence from the start; with the help of modern technology, this shouldn’t be difficult.
Make sure you take ample photographs of the accident to support your claims and strengthen your case. If possible, take videos as photographs can be given the benefit of doubt sometimes. Furthermore, collect enough documents like police reports, witness statements, medical records, bills, etc. Keep accurate records to aid during negotiations and to speed up the settlement procedure.
See the Right Doctor
Delaying medical treatment or not getting appropriate treatment can not only put your health at risk, but also affect the amount of compensation you receive negatively. Consider this, if you don’t see a doctor and bear pain simply assuming that you’ll get better, no one is going to believe your claims.
On the other hand, if you see a doctor and tell him about your health issues, he’ll be able to document all of it so that you can use it as evidence. So after you’ve received emergency treatment, see the right specialist who can treat your injuries. Undergo tests like CT scans, MRI scans, and X-rays so that the extent of your injuries becomes clear.
In addition to this, don’t miss your doctor’s appointments and don’t quit receiving medical care until your doctor advises you to. Be sure to take prescribed medications on time and regularly; not doing so can mean that your injuries aren’t severe.
Also keep a journal and maintain a written record of your everyday activities and how your injury has affected your life. The reason for this is that memories fade easily and if your case goes to trial, you don’t want to give vague and inaccurate answers to the jury.
Be on Your Guard
As mentioned, insurance companies have to keep their own interests in mind, so they might try to make you settle for a lesser amount. You might be made to admit that the accident was your fault or that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim them to be! To ensure you’re able to maximize your personal injury settlement, keep these tips in mind:
- Never discuss your medical condition with anyone other than your doctor and lawyer. Tell immediate family members only if absolutely necessary.
- Avoid using social media for a while; you don’t want insurance adjusters to use your status updates and pictures that show you’re having a great time as evidence against you.
- Insurance companies may hire private detectives to watch your moves in public. So if you have problems lifting heavy weights, don’t attempt to help strangers and prove otherwise!
- Have a minimum settlement amount in mind before you speak to the insurance company, but don’t reveal it to them.
- Insurance adjusters start negotiating by quoting a low settlement amount; they may even deny liability in some cases. Be confident and hold your ground, presenting evidence to back your claims.
- Note down the adjuster’s arguments so you can prepare your case with valid points.
- If the adjuster gives you a figure that’s somewhere near your minimum, make a counteroffer to show that you’re willing to compromise and are being reasonable.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to handle everything in the best way possible and maximize your settlement. With a lawyer by your side, you won’t have to worry about maintaining health and other records or negotiating with the insurance company.
Just be sure that you go to a trial lawyer! A lot of lawyers are settlers, meaning they will try to avoid court proceedings and might get you to settle for a lesser amount, but a trial attorney will ensure that you get enough compensation for your injury.
A personal injury can affect your lifestyle and that of your loved ones gravely. If you have been involved in such an accident recently and have been trying to maximize your personal injury settlement, the tips given in this post are sure to help.
Remember that acting as soon as you can will surely be beneficial to your case. So follow these tips and change your life for the better!
About the Author
Ralph Leon is Marketing Manager at The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC, one of the leading personal injury lawyer firms in Connecticut. He has experience of more than a decade in writing about law and legal issues, particularly medical malpractice and personal injury law.