If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury that was not your fault, then you have rights to file a personal injury claim.
These claims are intended to help you recover from the financial hardships caused by the injury. The resulting medical expenses, repairing or replacing damaged property, and missed work are often too much for most people to afford. Whether the injury was caused by domestic abuse, medical malpractice, or a car accident, you can and should receive compensation from the responsible party.
However, the personal injury claim process is not always straightforward or simple. Negotiating a settlement can be difficult and confusing. Don’t let your rights and settlement money slip away. The better you understand the process, the less stressful it will be.
An experienced personal injury attorney can make sure that you know your options, make smart decisions, and get a fair settlement. No matter what caused a personal injury, these 9 tips will ensure the best settlement outcome.
1: Treat your injuries.
Waiting to seek medical treatment can negatively impact your compensation. So it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In doing so, it’s highly recommended that you consistently keep up with your medical treatments and obtain copies of everything for evidence.
2: File a police report.
A police report is another important piece of documentation that can be used as evidence. Include the names of all parties involved, their contact information, location and time of the incident, or any objects used during the incident that are relevant to the case.
3 : Speak strategically.
In a heated moment, it can be easy to let some emotionally driven words be exchanged. It’s important to speak clearly and courteously to others at all times. Remember that they, too, can file a claim and use your words against you.
4 : Gather Evidence.
Every piece of evidence related to your injury adds credibility to your claim. Examples include medical bills, car repair bills, damage assessments, insurance reports, police reports, witness statements, photographs (including photographs of your injuries), voice recordings, and surveillance videos. Having this time-sensitive evidence secured will support your claim and help you win your personal injury case.
5 : Tread carefully with insurance companies.
Whenever you are seeking compensation following an injury, there’s a good chance you will have to deal with the insurance company. It’s important to understand that the insurance company does not prioritize your well being over other factors. Hiring a personal injury attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance companies will help you receive a fair settlement.
6 : Read the fine print.
Following a personal injury claim, numerous documents from both the insurance company and the opposing party’s lawyer will aim to limit your rights to compensation, if not voiding the case all together. If you are given a document that makes you question whether or not you should sign it, call Jacoby and Meyers to review and make sure you avoid any sneaky contracts.
7: Be reasonable, not submissive.
It’s procedure for insurance companies to present a low offer or even deny you compensation when you first contact them. They do this to pressure you and weaken your position. While you can submit a counteroffer, keep in mind that you likely won’t receive your full desired amount. If you don’t agree with their initial offer, compromise a little to show the insurance company that you know your rights and your worth.
8 : Stay organized.
Showing the judge that you are prepared and organized helps confirm the validity of your argument. It’s important to go into court understanding your formulated arguments because even if the other side is definitely to blame for your injury, if their case is more concise and organized than yours, then you are compromising your chances of winning. You should also arrive early to the courthouse to take into account getting lost on the way, traffic, parking, etc. Finally, once you’re in court, avoid at all times speaking directly to your opponent while in session, as this is extremely disrespectful to the judge. Instead, direct all information to the judge assigned to your case.
9 – Get help from an experienced personal injury attorney.
One of the most important and beneficial steps is hiring an experienced attorney to be at your side through this painful process. Some victims feel more financially sound representing themselves in court, however being legally represented will end up increasing your chance of obtaining a fair settlement. Also, if you go into court without representation and the other side does, you may have to pay for damages yourself that were inflicted by the opposite party. A personal injury lawyer will help you understand your rights and state-specific laws, avoid legal traps, and prepare your case for a fair settlement amount.
Bonus Tip : Don’t wait too long.
Waiting too long to bring your case to court may void your right to sue. Each state differs on its statute of limitations and can be as little as 1 year or as long as 6 years. The victim’s age and the type of claim may also cause variances in the statute of limitations as well. For example, medical malpractice usually has a much shorter statute then other types of claims.
For a state by state guide on the statute of limitations click here.
If you have suffered a serious injury that you are not at fault for, then don’t waste anymore time and call Jacoby and Meyers to get your fair settlement money that you deserve. Do what’s best for you and have a qualified, trained attorney at your side. An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate and examine your case, and protect your rights. For more information, contact Jacoby & Meyers about your claim today.