Slips and falls, dog bites, car accidents: whatever the situation, personal injuries can feel overwhelming. Once you’re on your way to recovery, you’ll want to file a personal injury claim to help cover the costs associated with the incident.
The way you handle the personal injury claim process can impact the outcome. Even little mistakes could ruin your case or decrease how much money you receive. Do not speak or give a recorded statement to the at fault party’s insurance company before speaking with an attorney.
Follow these tips to increase your chances of success with your personal injury claim after you have spoken with an attorney.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Getting medical care should be your priority after an accident. Even if the injury seems minor at first, you need a doctor to evaluate your situation. There could be something more serious that you don’t notice.
Some injuries don’t show symptoms right away and others get worse over time. If a doctor doesn’t diagnose and treat the situation soon enough, you might have serious complications.
The medical exam also shows the full extent of the injuries. This helps establish how much money you’re entitled to as part of the settlement.
The insurance company could also dispute your claims if you don’t see a doctor right away. They might question if you were actually injured in the accident. They might also suggest that the injury wouldn’t have been as severe if you would have seen a doctor sooner.
Once you see your doctor, follow the treatment plan exactly. Skipping medication, therapy, and other treatments puts you at risk for making the injuries worse. It could also work as an argument against your case since skipping treatment could make increase the severity of the injuries.
2. Record the Details
Supporting your claim with details and evidence increases your chances of getting the settlement amount you want. If you’re seriously injured, getting medical treatment is your first priority. As soon as possible, start collecting evidence and writing down notes to support your claim. Direct your notes and comments to your attorney in order to maintain attorney client privilege.
Photographs from the scene help to show the circumstances. This can prove that someone else was negligent, which led to your injuries.
If the incident happens in a public area, you might be able to find security camera footage that shows the accident. The video might show unsafe conditions or someone else being reckless, leading to the injury.
Create a written document of the details of the incident. Include the events leading up the incident and what happened during the accident. Avoid emotional descriptions, instead focus on the facts of the situation.
3. Contact a Lawyer
Speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer no matter what you may think is the value of your claim. You can file personal injury claims yourself, but personal injury lawyers will make the process easier and more successful. Attorneys understand the personal injury claim process and strategies to get higher settlements.
Small personal injury claims may be manageable on your own. If your case is more complicated, a lawyer’s expertise can be useful. Examples include claims where you’re seeking larger sums or there’s some question of fault.
Complicated cases often get drawn out and require lots of negotiation. Some end up in court.
Insurance companies have lots of strategies to fight claims. If the case ends up in court, they’ll have lawyers on their side. Going into a claim with your own lawyer prepares you to fight those strategies no matter what happens with the case.
Even if you don’t face a fight, your attorney can ensure you provide all the necessary information. They also ensure you meet the necessary deadlines.
Your attorney can handle all of the negotiations on your behalf so you don’t have to deal with representatives from the other side. Your lawyer’s strong negotiation strategies increase the change of getting a higher settlement.
Personal injury attorneys typically use a contingency fee approach. This means you don’t have to pay attorney fees upfront. Instead, you pay when you receive your settlement with the fee being a percentage of what you receive.
4. Limit What You Say
You might find yourself want to share what happened to you with anyone who’ll listen. Staying quiet about your personal injury case protects your claims and may help you get the outcome you want. Only discuss your case with your attorney.
It’s often best to avoid posting on social media during your case. Even posts that seem innocent, such as pictures of things you do, could hurt your case. If you show yourself doing something active, the insurance company could say you’re not as severely injured as you’re claiming.
5. Document Everything
Document all interactions and events from the time of the incident until you receive your compensation. This paper trail helps you keep track of the progress.
Write down the date, time, and details of any conversations you have with the insurance company. Save any paperwork you receive during the case.
Filing a Successful Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim helps you get the compensation you deserve after suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence. An attorney with experience handling personal injury claims will help you recover what you deserve. Understanding the process and following these tips can help you receive a fair settlement.
If you’re dealing with a personal injury, contact us for a consultation on your case.