Personal injury is when a person’s body, mind, or emotions are injured as a result of the negligence, carelessness, or wrongful conduct of another person.
If the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, that duty was breached, the breach was the cause of your injury, and you suffered damages as a result then you have a personal injury claim. Here’s how to make sure you get all the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Hire An Attorney
You’re more likely to not only win your case but also increase the value of your claim if you hire an attorney rather than trying to do everything by yourself.
There are different reasons for this:
- A personal injury lawyer will know all the damages you’re entitled to and draw your attention to those that may seem minor but are not. For example, you’re entitled to an additional claim for emotional distress.
- You’ll typically be claiming against an insurance company that will have more than one attorney fighting to reduce your monetary claim and having your own attorney means you’ll have someone with the knowledge and experience to negotiate fiercely with insurance lawyers.
Whether you were hit by a car, bitten by a dog, or fell through a badly built floor, preserve as much evidence as you can.
So if you can, you should do things like taking photos of the scene of the accident and your immediate injuries. Also, try your hardest to collect names and contact information from all and any witnesses. If there’s a police report, get a copy as soon as possible.
All this information is relevant to how your attorney can follow up to collect detailed witness statements and prepare the case. The attorneys at EarlAndEarl.com explain how if the case goes to trial the jury is going to decide on the merits of your case by looking at the evidence. If the case is settled out of court instead the other party is going to decide whether to offer you a fair settlement based on the strength of your evidence and thus the case.
See A Doctor
The compensation you deserve will not be apparent without an accurate picture of the extent of your injuries. For an accurate picture, you will need doctors and other health professionals to examine you and run tests for your injuries to be documented in a report.
This should definitely include seeking any necessary physical therapy plus treatment for things like flashbacks and post-traumatic stress.
This documentation is additional proof to the party at fault on the other side to come to the table and offer a higher settlement, especially if your injuries are internal.
Don’t Be Impatient
When you’re overwhelmed by physical and mental pain it’s tempting to want to get the case over by accepting the first offer. But the first offer is not necessarily the best offer. Accepting the first check you’re offered by the at-fault party can prevent you from maximizing your compensation.
When you reject the first, second, or even third offer it informs the other party that you’re well aware of the strength of your case, and you mean to recover the highest value of compensation.
Note that it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney for an expert opinion about whether to accept or decline a settlement offer.
Don’t Forget Future Damages
As your lawyer will tell you, you’re entitled to future damages. A personal injury often results in losses both immediately and long into the future. For example, you might not be able to return to work, or you might lose the use of a vital money-making part of your body.
In fact, in some cases, future damages might even comprise the majority of your losses and compensation claim.
While you’re likely aware of the phrase “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”, you’re likely unaware that this includes things you say and post on your social media platforms.
For example, if you’re claiming devastating injuries in which you can’t perform basic functions without difficulty but your Instagram page shows you participating in a rigorous golf tournament, your case is almost certainly ruined. You must remember that what the other side wants is to pay as little as possible, so they’re constantly watching for holes in your case.
Your best bet is to remain silent and let your attorney do all or most of the talking. Another good rule of thumb is not to talk about any aspect of your injury case with anyone, or anywhere until a settlement is reached.
Suffering an injury is a painful and traumatic experience, but even more so if it’s the fault of someone else. Taking all the right steps will ensure that you’re at least compensated monetarily for your pain.