Getting the most out of a personal injury settlement is not always an easy task, and there are a number of reasons why. For example, you might not know all of the steps required to properly get your settlement money. There could also be outside factors that impede your ability to claim what is rightfully yours, such as lawyers who try to limit payouts or rules set out by the court. Regardless, it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when it comes to dealing with personal injury settlements, doing so will help ensure that you get cash quickly and efficiently—and without hassle. Here are tips on how to get the most out of a personal injury settlement.
Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re dealing with a personal injury settlement, it’s usually best to hire a lawyer. Lawyers who specialize in this area will not only know the ins and outs of your location’s laws but also be able to help get you the money you deserve quickly and efficiently. A lawyer will answer all your pressing questions, like the one you most likely ask yourself “how much goes in my pocket?” adequately. Additionally, because they deal with these types of cases all the time, they’ll be familiar with how such settlements work in real life—and how to get around any possible problems that could hinder your payout amount. The earlier you hire a personal injury attorney, the better.
Gather Evidence Of Your Claim
When it comes to getting the most out of personal injury settlements, evidence is key. You should start this process as soon as possible—it can take some time—and keep gathering any new evidence you find along the way. Also, be sure you’re prepared with all your relevant information when you meet with an attorney or go to court so they can help you maximize the value of your claim. Here is the evidence you need to gather.
These records prove that you were injured and the extent of the injuries. Therefore, all medical bills associated with your treatment should be included as evidence (both those already paid and future expenses). Also, make sure you gather copies of any x-rays or other treatments—including counseling if it’s related to your claim—you underwent during these sessions. Your lawyer will probably use this information to establish a dollar figure for both past and future medical treatment that is associated with your injury.
A Record Of Lost Wages
If you missed time from work due to your injury, then provide proof of lost wages in the form of pay stubs, tax returns, and W-2 forms. This proves you missed out on money and can help your lawyer figure out how much you should receive.
A Record Of Future Lost Wages
If you will miss time from work in the future due to your injury, then provide proof of any missed wages and projected earnings for this period (such as a doctor’s note). This proves that you’ll be missing money and can help your lawyer determine how much of a settlement to claim on your behalf.
Documentation For Property Damage
If any property was damaged due to your accident, such as if you crashed into someone else’s car, request copies of the police report and vehicle damage estimate (if applicable). If there isn’t an official police report available, write down all relevant information yourself so it can be presented in courts, such as the address and phone number of any witnesses.
Speak To The Insurance Company
Once you have all the evidence you need, you can contact the insurance company of the person or business that caused your injury with your lawyer’s advice. Tell them you’re planning to file a claim and want an official offer of settlement. Once they submit it, your lawyer will be able to tell whether or not it’s satisfactory. If it isn’t, then you have the option of pursuing your case in court or accepting the insurance company’s proposal so long as—as stated earlier—the law where you reside allows for this type of early resolution.
Be Flexible And Patient
When you discuss your claim, be as flexible and patient as possible. In some cases, a settlement offer is made almost immediately after filing the initial claim. In other instances, it can take years of negotiations before an agreement is reached or a trial date is set. Neither way of settling the case is better—it’s just different. Just remember that with patience and flexibility, you stand to gain more from a personal injury settlement overall.
Apart from hiring a personal injury lawyer, evidence is the net key to helping you make sure your claim does as much for you as possible, and there are many different types of evidence available for your case. For those reasons, it’s crucial that you begin gathering them as soon as possible and show up prepared to discuss your claim with an insurance company or bring your case before a judge.