No two personal injury claims are the same. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel constrained by any ‘average payout’ statistic when pursuing your claim. Yet, despite the formal niceties, personal injury claims are processed in an adversarial context. Insurance firms will not pay willingly. They’re in business after all and each dollar paid out means a dollar less in profit.
You can expect the insurer to thoroughly investigate the accident and seek out any information they could leverage to reject or diminish your claim. They may contract a private investigator to secretly record your physical activities and could even use trickery to convince you to engage in strenuous activity like lifting a heavy load all in an effort to prove that your injuries aren’t substantial.
To avoid missing out on the injury claim you deserve, apply the following tips.
Whether the decision to pay the claim is made at the insurer or at a trial, it’s always going to come down to the strength of the evidence. The immediate aftermath of an accident and the resulting injury can be a traumatic time where your mind is occupied with preserving your life and health.
Nevertheless, it’s vital that you seek to capture and preserve as much evidence of the accident as you can. Take photos and videos of the scene, as well as your injuries. Collect the names of witnesses. Obtain a copy of any police report relating to the incident. If you cannot do it yourself, request a friend, coworker, a fellow passenger, your lawyer, or a person nearby to do it on your behalf.
Get Medical Care
Winning a personal injury claim is about receiving just compensation for treatment and other losses you’ll incur due to the injury. For this to happen, you must have an accurate assessment of the injuries. You will need your doctor, paramedic, or other health care professional you pass through, document the nature of your injuries and detail the treatment plan required to nurse you back to as good health as possible.
Given that the doctor is largely a disinterested party, this documentation will compel the other party to offer a fair settlement during negotiations. You should seek medical care and a doctor’s assessment quickly, even if you do not think your injuries are significant. Some injuries may not be apparent to you and would require an expert to unearth. When the doctor recommends a treatment and recovery plan, follow it to the letter.
Notify Your Attorney of Pre-Existing Injuries
It’s crucial that you advise your lawyer of any pre-existing injuries, pre-accident constraints to physical activity and prior accidents. You should also detail the names and addresses of doctors and medical facilities where you’ve been treated in the past.
Many claims are lost or compromised because the injured party failed to disclose previous injuries or their history of physical ailments to their attorney. Victims may withhold this information in the mistaken belief that nobody will find out, but this will only make it harder to realize their desired amount.
Value Your Claim in Full
As mentioned at the start of this writeup, you shouldn’t be limited by the average payout similar injuries have received in the recent past. In addition, you should not limit your claim to a single type of damage. Keep an open mind. A lawyer can help your claim by exploring all the different damages you may currently or later suffer following the injury.
The cost of treating the physical injury will probably be the thing you will look at first, but you should think about psychological damage, emotional trauma and the income lost due to the reduction in your ability to perform certain physical functions.
Don’t Accept the First Offer That Comes Along
With medical bills quickly piling up and your absence from work constraining your income, it’s rational to want a check in your hands as soon as possible. Insurers know this and will give a low ball settlement offer in the hope that you’ll accept it to get the process done quickly. That will almost certainly mean missing out on the compensation you deserve.
To maximize your personal injury claim, you must make the insurer perceive that you don’t mind waiting as long as it takes to get what’s due to you. That can mean rejecting the first, second, third and even fourth offer. All this has to occur within reason, of course, so it’s important to listen to your attorney who will likely have a sense of when the offer is good enough.
The steps you take after an injury will affect your claim. Apply these tips to ensure you get the maximum value due to you.