Have you filed a personal injury claim for a motor vehicle accident? If so, you may be curious to know how much of a settlement you’ll receive for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. You are likely aware than an injury settlement can vary depending on many factors. However, some of these factors are within your control. Given that, you may want to know what things you can do to maximize your settlement value.
In this post, we’ll arm you with a few easy ways you can improve your chances of receiving fair compensation. However, the best way to get an idea of what you’ll receive is to speak with a car accident lawyer.
Collecting proper evidence at the scene of an accident can go a long way in supporting your injury claim. You probably already know that it’s wise to take lots of pictures.
But what else might be valuable evidence? Here are a few ideas:
Of course, your health always comes first. Calling 911 is more important than snapping pictures if there are serious or life-threatening injuries. Worry about gathering evidence afterward or asking someone else for help.
It’s important to get seen by a doctor as soon as possible after being injured in a car accident. With adrenaline pumping, you may not realize the extent of your injuries. Plus, a doctor will outline the next steps to put you on the best path of recovery.
But there’s another reason that may be less obvious for seeking prompt care after an accident: it helps your injury claim. Think of it from the insurance adjustor’s perspective. Imagine someone claiming an injury but delaying going to the doctor. Just how hurt are they, anyway?
If you are truly hurt, don’t hesitate to take immediate action, such as:
Make sure to let all treating medical providers know that your injuries were caused by an accident.
Don’t agree to provide the other driver’s insurance company with a recorded statement. While it might seem like an innocent request, remember that the insurance company has one goal: to reduce what they must pay you. This means that anything you share could be used against you. Insurance adjustors may disarm you by sounding friendly and just wanting to know how you’re doing. Proceed with caution.
Instead of agreeing to a recorded statement, you could try:
“I’m going to have an injury attorney represent me. I’ll have him/her get in touch with you soon about my case.”
“I’d like to contact an attorney before making a statement.”
“I don’t feel comfortable giving you a recorded statement. What I can do is submit my medical bills and records once I’ve completed treatment.”
Be polite, but firm. Most of all, understand that giving a recorded statement is not a requirement to receive a settlement.
It’s important to make all your follow-up appointments after being injured in a car wreck. Doing so sets you up for recovery and validates your claim of being hurt.
Skipping appointments or allowing gaps between care can signify to the insurance company that you’re not that injured.
If you’re a frequent social media user, take extra caution. Even if you think your accounts are private, posts you make may be accessed and used to discredit your case. It’s not just posts about your accident you should avoid either. A seemingly innocent post about attending your niece’s baby shower could be used as “proof” you aren’t hurt. Your best bet may be to not use social media at all or limit your interactions.
For more on this topic, make sure to read our post about social media and personal injury lawsuits.
While you can involve a personal injury lawyer at any point in the process of an open claim, we encourage you to do so as early as possible. There are a few reasons for that.
For instance, a lawyer:
Studies show that just having a lawyer represent you increases the value of your claim. Besides this, most injury firms, such as ours, work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you only pay an attorney’s fee if they win you a settlement.
We understand that you’re eager to have your compensation. You’ve been through a lot and likely need the cash sooner rather than later. However, it’s our experience that the first offer an insurance company makes is usually low. Often, we can negotiate and get a better offer. Or sometimes, we advise that your best option is to file a lawsuit. In short, you can increase your chances of receiving a higher settlement if you are willing to wait.
But what if you need medical care right now and just can’t afford it? Reach out to your personal injury attorney. He or she likely has built a network of providers who can agree to treat you and be paid out of your settlement later. (Make sure to see our post on how liens work to better understand this option.)
Please don’t feel intimidated to reach out to a personal injury attorney from our team! We understand that you’ve likely never been in this sort of situation before. Our team offers free, no-obligation initial consultations. Remember, you only pay us a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. Reach out by giving us a call at (253) 272-5226 or filling out the short form on our website.