5 sure ways to get a maximum personal injury claim

>> Jan 11, 2019



When you're injured in an accident through the fault of another, obtaining compensation for those damages can be a frustrating and confusing process. It's important to act cautiously, because the responsible party will likely be covered by insurance and insurance companies are reluctant to pay out. They will try to save as much money on your claim as possible and they're counting on your ignorance of the system to accomplish their goal. For this reason, it's important to understand how your actions can impact your case. This information will help you maximize your claim if you are involved in an accident.
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1. Collect Evidence
You won't have a case if you can't prove your side of the story. This requires gathering evidence on the scene of the accident, whether it's a traffic accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or other accident. At an auto accident, for example, there will be the most to do, because your vehicle is also involved. You should use your phone's camera to take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved and any other property damage that may have occurred. You should also gather the names, contact information, and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident. Asking witnesses for their information is also important. To learn more about how to react to an auto accident, visit https://foylelegal.com/personal-injuries/motor-vehicle-accident-claim.

While the above example is specific to a traffic accident, the recommendation applies to any type of accident. Even when there's no property damage, such as in a slip and fall, you can take pictures of the scene and of the cause of the accident. In a dog bite case, take a picture of the animal and of your injuries. Any additional relevant information you can gather at the scene will be helpful in proving your case.

2. Don't Delay Getting Medical Attention
When you are involved in any type of accident, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Even if you only feel slightly banged up, it's vital to get medical attention to determine if you have any internal injuries. There are some serious injuries that can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest. Some of those possible injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spine and back damage, and neck injuries. Often, symptoms are mild and may even be dismissed as normal aches and pains. Even a headache may be a symptom of a bigger problem.

Additionally, the time you choose to seek medical attention can impact the outcome of a personal injury claim. In the past, people would delay seeking medical attention in order to allow their injuries to become more severe. The goal in doing that was to get a larger settlement. In response, most states enacted laws to protect defendants against this type of situation. It's called contributory negligence and it allows the court to determine how large a role the plaintiff played in allowing their injuries to worsen. Today, if you delay getting medical attention, the amount you can claim in damages may be significantly reduced or you may not be eligible to file a claim at all.

3. Act Responsibly After the Accident
Always keep in mind that the insurance company will be looking for ways to disprove your case or discredit you. This means you'll be watched and investigated throughout the course of your case, so you should be aware that everything you do and say will be scrutinized. For instance, attending a friend's wedding might be used against your claims that you're suffering from injuries. The lawyers working for the insurance company will suggest that someone in pain wouldn't feel up to attending a wedding or other celebration. They will paint the picture that a genuinely injured person will be in too much agony to leave their beds.

Similarly, be wary of what you post on social media. In fact, most personal injury lawyers urge their clients to stay off social media altogether until their case is settled. Followers and friends aren't always on your side, so you may never know if someone is working for the insurance company. That's just one reason you should never discuss your case online or share any pictures of your accident. Additionally, your photos and posts should be set to private to keep insurance agents or attorneys from browsing through your posts. Older content might be used and presented as something more recent to hurt your case.

4. Know How to Negotiate
As previously stated, the insurance company is going to work hard to save money. This means they will have an adjuster approach you soon after the accident to offer you a quick cash settlement. While that sounds appealing, you should be aware that this will be a low offer, intended to just cover your immediate medical expenses. They know that, if you accept the offer, you'll be waiving your rights to seek future damages. In fact, you have the right to seek compensation for current and future medical expenses, missed time from work, property damages, and pain and suffering. When the adjuster makes this offer, your response should be to ask him to justify the settlement offer. Most people take an offer at face value without ever attempting to analyze the adjuster's assessment of the case.

5. Consult an Attorney
In any serious accident, you should consult a personal injury attorney. This is the best way to maximize your potential award or settlement, because personal injury lawyers handle cases like this daily. They will be better able to negotiate a fair settlement offer and, if the insurance company isn't willing to negotiate, your lawyer will be prepared to handle the case in court. You have nothing to lose by hiring an attorney, since the lawyer works for a contingency fee. This means he only gets paid if he can negotiate a settlement or win your case in court.

Getting involved in an accident is a frightening experience, which is compounded by the injuries and other damages you suffer. The law allows you to seek damages to restore your life to its pre-accident quality, but that doesn't mean you're free of responsibility. The actions you take after your accident will affect how much you can claim.

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