In the majority of personal injury claims, the injured person and the defendant will try to reach a personal injury settlement in order to avoid the expenses of going to court. As a victim, you want to maximize the settlement amount in order to be valuably compensated for the injury that you suffered. There are a variety of methods you should employ that can help you get the settlement you deserve.
Hire an attorney
The first and foremost way to increase your personal injury settlement is to hire a personal injury attorney. When a defendant or their insurance company is dealing with a victim individually, there is an uneven amount of bargaining power due to the experience and knowledge that insurance companies have in dealing with these situations. As such, you may be pressured to or unknowingly settle for a much lower amount then you deserve. However, a personal injury attorney possesses the same experience and knowledge in dealing with these situations. Simply hiring an attorney generally tends to produce better results. Don’t hesitate to contact Minick Law for a free consultation on your claim and to represent you in your personal injury case.
Investigate the accident
Another way to increase your personal injury settlement is to thoroughly investigate the accident. This can be done either personally or by having an attorney investigate. This investigation may look into the location of the accident, the cause of the accident, or the people involved in the accident. Often times, with some simple investigation, it is easy to find negligence or fault on the defendant’s part. This information can then be used to produce larger personal injury settlement. For more information see my blog, How to investigate a car accident.
Obtain Evidence, Witnesses
It is always important to gather as much evidence as possible regarding the accident. Any photos, videos, or other evidence may be invaluable in determining who is at fault and whether they were negligent. It is also important to try to obtain the contact information for any individuals who may have witnessed the accident. Although this is not always possible, any time an individual can be called on to recall what happened, it most likely will help both your case and your personal injury settlement amount.
Go To a Doctor
Following an accident, it is also important to see a doctor if you have been injured. A doctor will not only be able to diagnose any medical injuries, but also help you heal from your injuries. Although going to see a doctor helps you recover from any injuries, it also produces documentation that you can use to negotiate a settlement. It is much easier to receive a higher settlement amount if there are additional medical bills that must be paid as result of your injury. A note of caution however, just because you go see a doctor does not mean that the cost of your visit will necessarily be covered by the settlement. Insurance companies will not pay for any doctors visits that they believe are unrelated to the accident or were for previous medical conditions.
Get medical records and bills
Lastly, it is important that you obtain any medical records and bills that are related to your injury. By obtaining these records, it allows the insurance company to see a history of what you went through and how much it cost. This documentation will be important in your settlement negotiations and will affect the size of your personal injury settlement amount. Without these records, the insurance company will not consider or pay for your injuries or doctor’s visits.
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James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.