You have a legal right to compensation if you sustain injuries in a car accident or damage due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a long and challenging process, especially if you have never done it before. Personal injury cases are extremely complicated, so you must maximize your potential benefit.
The actions you take after your accident or injury are critical. They can add or deduct from your credibility and the settlement you receive. Here are some essential tips to help you maximize your compensation when pursuing a personal injury case.
1. Hire a qualified personal injury attorney
When you are severely injured due to an accident, medical malpractice, or defective product, it’s a good idea to look for a lawyer to represent you in your case. The importance of finding a skilled attorney cannot be overlooked. For instance, an Orlando car crash lawyer will have a different set of skills from a slip and fall attorney.
If your lawsuit proceeds to trial, your lawyer will be there to help you present yourself and your claim in the best way possible. When choosing a personal injury attorney, ask questions to determine whether they have the experience and resources needed to handle your case. Consider seeking referrals from family members, friends, or colleagues or explore online reviews for leads to a qualified personal injury lawyer.
2. Get necessary medical treatment
The treatment received by the victim is one factor the court uses to determine the value of a personal injury claim. Visit a doctor immediately after your accident. Only a medical professional can assess your health, and their assessment will give an accurate picture of your damage, which can be used as compelling evidence of your injuries.
The evidence can be submitted to the court through a doctor or professional’s trial testimony. Nevertheless, if you fail to treat the injuries or are noncompliant with your doctor’s orders, the defendant may use this evidence against you in court.
3. Preserve evidence for trial
The judge will decide your case by looking at the evidence. That means you must present enough evidence to prove your claim at trial. You should therefore start preserving evidence immediately after an accident occurs. Otherwise, tangible evidence might get lost or misguided, and witnesses can disappear or memory fade with time. To preserve evidence, you should:
- Take pictures of the accident scene, injuries, and defective products or premises
- Report to the police or relevant authority
- Acquire a copy of the medical record
- Request a copy of the surveillance video
- Obtain witness details
Remember that the accused will start building a defense to your case immediately after the accident. For this reason, you should not allow any fault that the defendant can use as evidence against you during the trial. Be sure to report symptoms and injuries even if they appear small at the time.
4. Evaluate your damages fully
A personal injury can lead to losses both promptly and long into the future. You may not recover fully from injuries before your lawsuit goes to negotiation or trial, so it’s essential to consider future recovery when negotiating a compensation offer.
Make sure to include future damages as part of your case. In some instances, future damages will consist of most of the losses. You should work with medical experts to document these losses and include them in your claim.
It’s normal to want to share your accident details online with family and friends, either to gain sympathy, vengeance, or both. However, when you are fighting to maximize your injury compensation, the last thing you want to do is undermine your efforts.
Anyone, including claims adjusters and lawyers, can search for and use the photos and comments you post on social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Claim adjusters may then use the information they found on social media against you to lower your amount of compensation. That means it’s in your best interest to avoid posting regarding the case on social media.
6. Build your case
Your work ethic is one of the strongest defenses you have. Doing all it takes to build your case can maximize your compensation even if your case doesn’t go to trial.
As your case waits for trial, use the provisional time to gather information, follow up on medical reports, find more details about witnesses and write as much as possible. You may need to visit various medical professionals as your lawyer works with other expert witnesses to build the strength of your lawsuit.
Having a solid case prepared for trial may pressure the accused party to offer you fair compensation. If the other side notices that you are doing nothing to build your case, they will likely lower your settlement offer.
7. Don’t wait to file your case
After an accident, you have a time limit to file your case. It’s important to file your lawsuit as soon as possible to avoid the risk of time running out. Once the statute of limitations expires, you might not be able to recover at all. In addition, filing your case on time allows you to start gathering evidence formally.
8. Don’t take the initial offer
While it may seem difficult to hold on to everything and wait for adequate insurance coverage when recovering from an accident, it’s worth it. Try to be patient even if you are in severe pain, are scoring huge medical expenses, or missing work.
Personal injury claims are a long process, and it may be tempting to take the first offer and call the whole thing off. However, you will likely not get all the compensation you deserve when you do that. Ensure you consult your personal injury lawyer for legal advice before accepting or rejecting any offer.
9. Create a good impression
The kind of impression you make while at the court is another aspect that can greatly impact your case. Often, the plaintiff will make a compensation offer based on what they think a judge could do at trial.
Judges usually decide a case based on what they see and hear at trial. When you make a great impression at your deposition, there is a higher chance the defense will make a fair settlement offer. A good impression means being polite and respectful and looking decent when you are due in court.
After a personal injury incident, the last thing you want to worry about is how you will cover the expenses. Hiring the right personal injury lawyer can help you ease your stress and anxiety.
The defendant will always fight to give you the smallest settlement amount, so it means you will need to stay on your toes. With these tips and the help of a personal injury attorney, you can get the compensation you need to recover your losses.