It’s no secret that America is one of the most litigious societies in the world. Every year, plaintiffs nationwide spend around $310 billion on lawsuits. But filing personal injury claims and successfully reaching settlements are two very different things.
When you file a personal injury claim, there’s much more involved in achieving success than you might think. Simple mistakes along the way can cost you dearly. Keep reading for seven personal injury claim tips and tricks that can help you avoid disaster and get the money you deserve.
Don’t Avoid the Doctor
A strong personal injury claim starts with solid evidence. Insurances companies, as a rule, will look for any excuse not to payout. This includes contesting:
- That injuries truly occurred
- When and how injuries occurred
- The severity of your injuries
- Defendants’ responsibility for injuries
So, for example, if you suffer an injury but do not seek medical care right away the insurer will likely argue that there is no proof that the injury happened at the time of the accident. They might also claim that the initial injury was minor and that you aggravated it by failing to get care. They could then attempt to offload some liability onto you and avoid paying your full medical costs.
Thus, any time you are involved in an accident it is essential that you seek medical care even if you think that you are fine. Medical personnel can diagnose and treat serious injuries such as muscle strains and concussions that you might otherwise not notice until later. This not only gives you the best chance for recovery but strengthens your legal case.
Don’t Wait to Get Started
When filing a personal injury claim, starting early is important for several reasons. First, laws limit when you can act so waiting too long can cost you your chance.
Second, the gears of the legal and insurance systems can move slowly. The longer you wait to start, the longer you must wait for a resolution.
Third, the more time that passes before you seek legal counsel the more likely you are to make costly mistakes that rob you of compensation.
Don’t Sabotage Your Chances
Many plaintiffs don’t realize that accepting money or agreeing to terms from an insurer or the responsible party can shut down their options to negotiate for more compensation later. Insurers often take advantage of this by making quick, low-ball offers in the wake of an accident. Unsuspecting victims accept the money without realizing that doing so prevents them from ever getting the full amount they deserve.
To ensure the success of your case, do not accept or agree to any compensation or terms, verbally or in writing, until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
Don’t Talk Out of Turn
Insurers’ attempts to get out of paying for personal injury claims does not end when you get an attorney. During the discovery phase of your case, the defendant and their attorneys will do everything they can to find mitigating factors and other evidence that reduces their liability. They will examine records and documents and conduct interviews.
Anything that you have said about your case, officially or unofficially, can potentially be used against you. To protect yourself and your rights, do not discuss your case publicly or privately with anyone but your attorney.
Be Picky About Your Attorney
When hiring a personal injury attorney, it’s vital to choose carefully. Look for an attorney:
- With a strong success record, great reputation, and positive reviews
- Who specializes in your specific type of case
- You feel comfortable working with
Do not be afraid to research and interview several different attorneys or firms before deciding on the one that’s right for you. Most attorneys offer free consultations, which means you can do this at little or no cost. The time and energy you invest here will pay huge dividends when you find the right personal injury attorney in Green bay for your case.
Give Your Attorney All the Details and Documents
The more information and documentation your personal injury lawyer has the better they can defend your claim and press your case. They will no doubt ask for your medical records, insurance information, and other basic documents.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that in our modern world there are many other types of relevant information that you might be able to provide. This includes:
- Photos or videos that you or another person took on a smartphone
- Video or tracking data from systems built into your vehicle or from after-market devices
- Data from personal health trackers and wearables
- Emails, voicemails, texts, and other digital communication between you and your medical providers or the defendant’s insurance company
Never assume that any type or piece of information is too small or unimportant to be of use to your attorney. Offer them all of the information that you have and discuss with them if there might be something you overlooked. You may be surprised by what bits and pieces of data make the difference.
Be Patient With the Personal Injury Claims Process
It can be easy to get frustrated by the slow speed at which your case moves. This is particularly true when you feel that it is an open-and-shut case and that insurers are just stalling or dragging their feet.
Pushing too hard or trying to speed up the process, however, can cost you in the long run. Insurers routinely use plaintiffs’ impatience to pressure them to accept lower settlements. Talk to your attorney and learn more about the individual steps in the process so that you can go into your claim with realistic expectations.
This will help you:
- Lower your stress
- Manage your resources
- Maximize the success and compensation in your case
Long term, holding out for everything you deserve will yield the best results.
Set Yourself up for Success
Knowing what to expect and what to avoid when preparing for personal injury claims can make the difference between success and failure. Learn more great ways to set yourself up for success by checking out the other great articles on our blog today.