Are you facing the misfortune of serious bodily injury due to the fault of another driver? Chances are, you are going to have a long battle that consists of lawyers, dispositions, and negotiations as insurance companies hate to pay up.
When beginning legal proceedings, the goal is always to maximize your settlement. Of course, we are not encouraging dishonesty; the goal is to simply ensure payment for your pain, suffering, loss of wages, and other costs associated with a major accident.
Keep reading to find out how to even the playing field when dealing with personal injuries and insurance companies!
1. Medical Attention
After a major accident, you may choose to go to the emergency room. After the emergency room, you may still have lasting injuries that need attention.
When your lawyer asks about any aches and pains that were not present before the accident, be honest. Then, when he gives you the contact information of a doctor, call and set an appointment.
Be rigorous in keeping all appointments with any doctors or specialists. Take any advice, prescriptions, and follow all directions, including those that involve MRIs or x-rays.
2. Don’t Settle on the First Offer
Insurance companies often want to silence victims that have a personal injury claim. They will do this by offering an insultingly low settlement. Follow your attorney’s advice, but consider all of your options.
If you are still seeing a doctor about your injuries, it is not time to settle.
3. Social Media Isn’t Your Friend
When you are suing an insurance company, claiming that you are in pain, posting your recent vacation or concert attendance is not ideal.
An insurance company can see what you post. Worse, their attorney may argue that you are exaggerating your pain and suffering, making a fair settlement less likely.
4. Think of Your Future
To maximize your settlement, you must consider future problems involving injuries. These issues can easily cause a return to the doctor’s office, surgery, and time away from work–all of which will cost money.
Once the case has a settlement, you are responsible for these costs. With time, these costs can place a financial burden on you and your family, making it important to consider this aspect before choosing to settle.
5. First Impressions Matter
The initial impression you make on the opposing side’s insurance company is a lasting one. This is the impression that they will consider when they make an offer. If their belief is that they would win during a trial, they have no incentive to make a fair offer.
Dress appropriately, arrive at appointments and court dates on time, and be respectful toward all parties.
Maximize Your Settlement, but Be Honest
It may be tempting to lie about your injuries in order to maximize your settlement. Aside from the fact that lying is wrong, it can also hurt your case.
Chances are, an investigator will catch your lie and ask about it in court. This may severely affect the jury’s perception of you or could even slow negotiations.
Following each of these tips will allow you to be honest about your injuries yet stake your claim to a fair settlement.