Lawyers want to make the most out of every personal injury claim for their clients. If you want the best outcome for your claim, here are some things you can do to help your lawyer make the most of your case with the insurance company.
1. Look for an experienced personal injury lawyer
Whatever caused the injury that led you to decide to file a personal injury claim, make sure to look for an experienced personal injury lawyer carefully. Look for someone with specialized knowledge, especially if the injury was caused by medical malpractice, defective product, or accident. This is vital because each area requires special knowledge, careful weighing of the incident, and determining how your injury can affect you in the future. Often, lawyers also look to claim for the pain and suffering caused to you by the accident.
Besides experience, look for a lawyer who will pay personal attention to your case, has the resources to investigate the accident, and is prepared to have an open line of communication with you.
Finally, if you think the case might go to trial, make sure the lawyer you choose is a “trial lawyer.”
2. What is a reasonable settlement offer?
Your lawyer will determine this after looking into all the facts about your accident. For example, if the accident was a car accident, the amount is usually determined by the parties’ fault, but many other factors are also considered. These may include the inability to earn an income, the extent of the medical injuries, long-term medical treatments, pain, and suffering, etc.
3. Collect and preserve sufficient evidence
It is up to you as the plaintiff or claimant to provide the evidence to prove your claim, especially if it goes to trial. From the moment the accident happens, collect all the evidence possible to present to your lawyer. If for some reason, you can’t at the time, your lawyer will have a team that can investigate, but lots of evidence is lost as time passes.
Evidence includes photographs of the scene and your injuries. Keep a record of the accident scene and get the contact information of any witnesses. In the event of a car accident, call the police. If you are injured on someone’s property, report it to the owner or tenant.
Finally, if there is any video surveillance of the incident, request a copy.
4. Don’t forego medical treatment
Seek immediate attention after an accident. This treatment provides evidence of your injuries and is invaluable for your lawyer to determine the value of your personal injury claim. People who often forgo treatment have a hard time proving the negative impact of the accident on their current and, sometimes, future health and their ability to work. The lack of medical attention allows the defense to argue that the injuries were insignificant.
5. Be honest about your injuries
It is against the law to try and appear more injured to gain bigger compensation. Instead, be truthful about your injuries. This helps you maintain your credibility throughout the procedure, even if you need to go to trial.
6. Don’t hide any information
If you have been involved in an accident before you suffered injuries, don’t hide the fact. Sometimes injuries are aggravated by another accident. If this is the case with you, you can use it to get more compensation. Hiding old injuries can play negatively in your case.
7. Make sure to keep the claim private
Don’t talk to people about your claim and injuries, and stay off social media. The defense will search everywhere to prove that you exaggerate your injuries if they find photos of you on social media. Also, if your case goes to trial, be prepared that the defense will have you investigated.
It is up to your lawyer to fight your personal injury claim, either with negotiations, mediation, arbitration, or going to trial. However, it is up to you to provide all the required information and seek the right medical treatment. Finally, throughout the procedure, it is up to you to make a good impression. Be sincere, polite, well-spoken, knowledgeable about your case, and dressed appropriately.