Five Tips to Increase Your Personal Injury Settlement
Louisiana law allows people who are hurt in accidents caused by others to seek compensation from the responsible party through a personal injury claim. A full and fair settlement offers immense financial and emotional relief to accident victims by giving them the means to afford quality medical care and recoup other losses that they have incurred.
If you were hurt in an accident, you’re likely wondering how much your claim may be worth and how to increase the value of your personal injury settlement. Don’t settle without getting advice from an experienced lawyer first.
For more than three decades, the Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers have helped accident victims maximize the value of their personal injury settlements. Let our knowledgeable legal team walk you through the steps you can take to pursue fair and full financial recovery for the harm you’ve suffered.
The following tips explain how to maximize your claim’s value after an accident. For personalized guidance about your case, call our contact us today for a free consultation with a proven personal injury lawyer.
Collect and Preserve All Evidence
The most important step you can take to help increase your personal injury settlement value involves collecting and preserving all evidence of the accident and your injuries. If possible, try to take photographs or videos of the accident scene immediately after it happened.
If applicable, you should also report the accident to the appropriate parties, such as reporting a motor vehicle accident to law enforcement or reporting a slip and fall to the property or business owner. Make sure to get a copy of any accident or incident reports drafted following the accident.
Speak to any eyewitnesses to the accident and ask them either for a short statement or for their contact information so that you can reach out to them for their testimony later.
Finally, you should also remember to keep copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts you incur, including those for medical expenses and property repair costs. A personal injury lawyer can help you identify what evidence may be needed to prove your claim and how to secure that evidence. In some cases, there may be evidence — such as cell phone records — that cannot be obtained without a subpoena.
Get Medical Treatment
Seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Prompt treatment can help ensure that the injuries you suffered in the accident are diagnosed. This will not only improve your prognosis but also help demonstrate the extent of your injuries in your personal injury claim.
If you wait to seek treatment after an accident, you run the risk of the other side claiming that your injuries weren’t caused by the accident, that they weren’t as serious as you claim, or that you allowed your condition to worsen by delaying treatment.
It can also prove helpful to keep a diary or journal of your recovery to document how your injuries and treatment impact your quality of life. Your personal injury lawyer can connect you with medical professionals and specialists who can treat your injuries.
File Your Personal Injury Claim As Soon As Possible
In Louisiana, you have a very limited amount of time to pursue your personal injury claim. Under the statute of limitations, you only have one year from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against those parties responsible for your losses. If you file suit after the limitations period expires, your case can be permanently dismissed by the court, and you won’t be able to pursue the compensation you deserve.
If you are filing a personal injury claim with the insurance company, the terms of the insurance policy may also set forth deadlines under which you must provide the insurer with notice of your claim.
Properly investigating and preparing a personal injury case takes time. You’ll want to start the process as soon as possible to give yourself and your attorney the maximum amount of time to develop a persuasive claim that will provide you with the best chance at securing a financial recovery. Your personal injury lawyer can also keep you apprised of deadlines and ensure that your claim is pursued within all applicable time limits.
Explain Why the Offer Is Inadequate
Once you’ve filed your personal injury claim with the insurance company, you may receive a quick settlement offer from the insurer. Beware — in most cases, the first settlement offer you receive from the insurance company will provide compensation wholly inadequate to cover your losses fully.
You have the right to reject the insurance company’s offer and respond with a counteroffer for a higher amount of compensation. But you’ll need to explain why the insurance company’s offer is inappropriate clearly.
In many cases, you may need to refute assertions or assumptions made in the insurance company’s offer with evidence that proves why you deserve greater compensation. By sending a counteroffer backed by solid evidence, you put the insurance company on notice that you have a good case and that you are determined to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. A lawyer will know what arguments to anticipate from the insurer and prepare an effective counteroffer letter to help move settlement negotiations forward.
Include Past, Current, and Future Damages
When evaluating a settlement offer and making counteroffers to the insurance company, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve included all the losses that will result from the accident and your injuries. This includes past losses and expenses like medical bills and ongoing losses, such as lost wages if you cannot work while you heal.
Most importantly, you’ll want to evaluate any personal injury settlement offer carefully to determine if it includes compensation for your future losses. Expected medical treatments, lost earning potential, and lost quality of life are all compensable in a personal injury claim.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine the extent of your expenses and ensure that any settlement you accept will also compensate you for your future losses.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, contact Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation. With years of representing Louisiana accident victims, we know how to put an appropriate value on a case and push for all it’s worth. Call us today.