How Do I Maximize My Personal Injury Settlement?
While each accident and personal injury claim is unique, and there is no way to determine exactly how much a settlement will be worth upfront, there are steps injured victims can take to maximize their claim. In most cases, you will be negotiating with the insurance company, providing evidence that proves who was at fault and how much your claim is worth. Unfortunately, it is common for insurers to initially offer low settlement amounts to simplify the whole situation and get it over and done with. So, you may be asking how can I maximize my personal injury settlement?
In the hopes that you will accept their offer and avoid fighting for more money. But as the injured victim, you have a right to claim the full settlement amount you deserve. So to ensure you get the most money possible, you will have to provide sufficient evidence and advocate for your rights against a potentially difficult insurance company. In these cases, it is beneficial to work with an attorney who has experience fighting for their clients’ rights.
If you were injured in an accident and need help with your personal injury claim, our team of experienced Indianapolis attorneys can help. At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery, we know what it takes to win your case and ensure you get the highest settlement amount possible.
Factors That Play a Role in How Much Your Claim is Worth
When you file a personal injury claim, the insurance company will look at several different things to determine how much your settlement is worth. The factors are what we call “damages,” which are essentially the things that affect the victim’s life after having been in an accident and sustained injuries.
These damages can include:
- Medical expenses from the injuries sustained in the accident
- Future medical expenses if the injury is expected to affect the victim long-term
- Coverage for property damage, such as car damage
- Lost wages while the victim recovers from their injury
- Loss of future earning potential if the victim sustains a permanent impairment or disability that affects their ability to work in the future
- How much the victim is suffering physically after the accident
- How much the victim is suffering emotionally or psychologically after the accident
- Other non-economic damages (i.e., loss of consortium, loss of companionship, scarring and disfigurement, etc.)
Important Evidence to Gather After the Accident
Immediately after the accident, there are steps the injured victim should take to ensure the insurance company can fully evaluate the damages listed above as well as anything else that might affect the case and the settlement amount. The steps you take after an accident can make or break your case as it will determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to support your claim.
Evidence that is necessary to support your claim includes:
A Police Report
The first thing you should do after an accident is call the police. Without an official police report, the guilty party could potentially deny what happened, and if there is no report to say otherwise, this could negatively affect your claim and your chances of getting the settlement you need and deserve. So always contact the authorities and wait for them to arrive to ensure they file an official report.
Medical evidence is especially important in a personal injury case as it will prove that you were injured and will help insurers determine how much you are owed for medical expenses and your pain and suffering. Even if you do not need immediate medical attention at the scene of the accident, you should still go to the emergency room, an urgent care, or make an appointment with your doctor to get checked out. Medical statements, bills, and doctor evaluations will be necessary if you want to maximize your settlement.
If possible, it is also beneficial to gather witness statements and contact information at the scene of the accident. If there are any disputes about what happened, witnesses may be called upon, and their statements can help support your claim. If there is no one else to backup your story, it could negatively affect your claim and how much money you receive.
Video and Photographic Evidence
It is also important to take as many photos and videos as possible at the scene. While the police will also gather evidence, they are not always thorough and may miss some important details. So it’s essential for you to take photos yourself if you are able. This can include shots of the scene as a whole and close-ups of the damage and any other important details. You should also take photos of your injuries as well if they are physically apparent.
Avoid Quick Offers From the Insurance Company
Even after evidence is provided, insurance companies will often make an initial offer that is typically much less than what the victim deserves. They may try to persuade you to take this offer, claiming that it is better than taking the case any further for your benefit. But this is just a scam they use to avoid having to pay the full settlement amount.
If you want to maximize your settlement, never accept their initial offer. Instead, work with an attorney who will help you fight against the insurance company to ensure they thoroughly evaluate all of the damages and offer you the full amount that you deserve.
Consult With an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney to Maximize Your Personal Injury Settlement
At Poynter & Bucheri, we understand how frustrating and even overwhelming it can be to navigate a personal injury case, especially when you are dealing with a difficult insurance company. Our goal is to help guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible. We will help you gather as much information and evidence as possible and advocate for your rights to ensure you are awarded the full settlement amount you deserve.
Don’t hesitate — one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.