In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff and defendant will try to settle the claim before going to court. Why? Because litigation is expensive. However, it’s sometimes necessary if you suffered serious damages and need the money but the at-fault party won’t agree to a reasonable settlement.
After a personal injury, there are some steps you can take to maximize your recovery. They are:
1. Seek Medical Treatment.
If you feel pain or notice any injuries after an accident, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. A doctor will be able to diagnose your injuries and facilitate get you on the road to recovery. Also, seeing a doctor right away documents your injury, which can increase the settlement value of your claim. However, if you miss doctor’s appointments or have gaps in your treatment, that can devalue your claim.
Make sure you obtain all of your medical records and bills from your treatment providers. (Admittedly, your attorney can request the records, but it’s often much cheaper, if not free, for a patient to obtain his or her own records. Not to mention, it is usually much faster.) Your medical records and bills will be one of the most important factors in determining the value of your claim.
2. Find the Evidence.
At the scene, it is imperative to collect as much evidence as possible. Any photos, videos, police reports, or eyewitness testimony is invaluable in determining who was at fault and whether he or she was negligent. It can be hard to grab this evidence if you were taken away in an ambulance, but a good attorney should be able to lay hold of it for you.
3. Be Honest.
Don’t embellish the facts, or your injuries, because you want more money. Not only is it dishonest, it is against the law. In our experience handling these cases, exaggerating will only hurt your case in the end. The at-fault party’s insurance company and experienced defense attorneys will most likely find evidence to expose your embellishments, which will destroy your credibility and seriously devalue your claim in front of a jury.
4. Get a Good Lawyer.
The most important way to increase your settlement value is to hire a lawyer immediately. When an injury victim attempts to negotiate with the insurance company directly, the company has much more bargaining power. You may be pressured to or unknowingly settle at a much lower amount than you deserve. A personal injury attorney possess the same experience, if not more than an insurance company, in dealing with personal injury claims.
5. Be Patient.
You hired a good lawyer; now try to relax and focus on your recovery. Trust us, if we’re your attorneys, we’ll be handling everything, updating you when there’s news on your claim, and answering any questions you have. Our goal is to get you the most money possible as quickly as possible, so you don’t have to worry.
If you or someone you know suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another person or company, please call an experienced Belleville personal injury attorney at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a FREE CONSULTATION at 618.641.9189| 314.312.2930| firstname.lastname@example.org.