Have you been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other accident caused by the recklessness or carelessness of another? Such an accident takes away your agency, subjecting you to injuries and other damages that were caused by no fault of your own. However, there are aspects of your case that you do have control over if you file a personal injury claim, allowing you to recover on your own terms. Our Panama City personal injury attorney explains five ways you can maximize your Florida personal injury settlement.
Collecting evidence can be tricky, depending on how serious your injuries are and other aspects of your accident, but it is an essential aspect of every personal injury claim. If you are feeling well enough, take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information of everyone involved as well as witnesses—but do not push yourself. If your injuries are serious enough that you were rushed to a hospital right away, you still have options. Write down as many details about your accident as you can remember once you are able to and inquire about surveillance footage, police reports, and anything else that may have recorded the details of your accident.
This is probably the most important step, because not only can receiving prompt medical treatment save your life—it can save your claim.
You should always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your accident for two reasons:
By creating a paper trail of medical records documenting your injury and treatment, you are strengthening your personal injury claim by providing clear evidence of how badly you were hurt and how much your treatment set you back.
Following your accident, many things will happen at once and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Not only will you have to deal with the pain of your injuries, you may have to find someone to cover for you at work, look into repairing your vehicle, and field questions from the negligent party’s insurance company. Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney in Florida can ease the burden of these experiences.
An attorney will advise you on the steps to take following your accident, work with the opposing insurance companies and lawyers on your behalf and look into every chance to increase your settlement amount. They can also handle important legal preparations such as serving discovery demands, requesting records, conducting a deposition, and calling in experts to back up your claim. When it comes to dealing with insurance companies or making a case for your claim in court, you do not want to be without representation.
A lawyer can talk you through and look into all types of damages you may be entitled to. Besides property damage and medical bills, there are many other damages an accident victim can suffer.
Examples of potential damages you can request in a personal injury claim include:
Once you and your attorney thoroughly review the details of your specific case and assess the type of damages you may be entitled to, choose a settlement amount andstick to it. This will keep you from caving during negotiations, even when things get tough.
The at-fault party’s insurance company, as well as their lawyer if they’ve hired one, will do everything in their power to convince you to accept the lowest offer possible. Remember that insurance companies always look out for their bottom line above all else and, sadly, they do not have your best interests at heart.
If the first offer is too low to cover all your medical and other expenses, you and your lawyer can present documentation using the evidence you’ve gathered to prove that the settlement is not adequate. Such negotiations can take months or even years depending on the details, but don’t get impatient—with a strong enough case and the right lawyer by your side, you should have no problem eventually reaching the settlement you want.
By providing clear evidence, receiving adequate medical treatment, and not settling for less than you deserve, you should be able to get the exact settlement amount you are entitled to, and no less. Working with a lawyer will expedite and simplify this process tremendously, allowing you to focus more on your recovery than complicated legal procedures. Let us handle those on your behalf.