Once you step foot outside your house, you are subject to all sorts of accidents. No matter how cautious you are, you could get into a car crash or slip and fall at a construction site. At these times of turmoil, it is common to feel like you need someone to pay for what has befallen you.
You would be surprised to know that cases of personal injury are not as easy and straightforward as they should be. Insurance companies will use every trick in the book to underpay you in a settlement. Especially if you were filing a claim against a huge corporation that has access to the best lawyers in the country, your chances of being adequately compensated will be even smaller. Like most people, you probably do not have enough information regarding how such cases work. Read on below to find out how to prepare and negotiate your personal injury claim.
Collect Evidence at the Accident Scene
The first thing you have to do is to collect as much evidence as you possibly can right after the incident takes place. In the case of a car accident, take photos of your injuries and your car’s damage; you should even film videos with any eyewitnesses around who can support your case. This will strengthen your position and leave little room for the other party to deny what happened. You can even ask any bystander to do that for you if your severe injuries are preventing you from handling this task yourself.
Hire a Specialized Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers have a great experience when it comes to handling insurance companies and making them pay a proper settlement. The evidence you collect from the accident scene will be of great help when they are building the case. Personal Injury law is more or less the same everywhere; however, you should know that there are some details that differ from one location to the other. If you live in Oakland, California, you should do some research to find out more about the best personal injury lawyers in the area who will keep pursuing your case, even if they cannot get you a settlement right away. Although inconvenient, personal injury claims can drag for quite some time, so you want to make sure that your lawyer is prepared to go the distance and will not give up until you get the compensation you deserve.
Do Not Feel Pressured to Accept Any Settlement
Although insurance companies are not-for-profit entities, they will try to save themselves some money whenever they can. You should not feel forced to sign on any document or claim in the absence of your lawyer. Fine print conditions and vague documents that hold double meaning are common tools that insurance companies often rely on to maximize company profits. They might even go as far as fishing for your accident history to try to suggest a reckless behavior pattern in front of the court to deny you your fair settlement in the case at hand.
Do Not Omit Loss of Future Earnings
You have to provide your personal injury-specialized lawyer with as much accurate data as possible while mentioning your future earnings that will be affected by your personal injury. If your injury resulted in a permanent disability, you might not be able to go back to work. In that case, your losses are not only your monthly income; it includes any annual bonuses and incentives that you would have been entitled to. Do not leave anything out, no matter how minuscule you think it is, your lawyer can use it to your benefit. The more information you share with your lawyer, the better is the chance to get you a suitable settlement.
Stand Your Ground
When you or your loved one are dealing with a personal injury, it might be overwhelming to be tending to your/their health while fighting to be fairly compensated. However, do not be afraid to stand your ground and say ‘No’ when the offer seems too low to cover your medical bills and your emotional trauma. Your lawyer will probably be on your side and will push as hard as possible to get the maximum compensation, yet, you should remember that it is your call at the end of the day. If the amount you are offered is not matching the reasonable figure you had in mind, then do not be afraid to walk away. Great personal injury lawyers are used to trying cases and actually enjoy the fight.
Personal injury claims can be daunting to keep up with. However, this is where an experienced lawyer will be of great help. Do some research and ask for referrals to find a lawyer that you can trust, one who you can feel safe leaving your case in their hands. No matter how long it might take, as long as you know you are entitled to compensation, you should stay positive and hopeful that you will come out on the winning side.