One important method of increasing your personal injury settlement is to ensure that you document every bill and payment that you make in all qualifying categories. Having this documentation ensures that you can claim enough to cover all your expenses resulting from the accident.
In personal injury cases, compensation for injuries is the primary goal. Recovering the most money you can get is a central part of the process, which means that it is in your best interest to find ways to increase your personal injury settlement request. There are multiple ways that you can do this.
Understanding how to value a case is a significant focus for many organizations like the Journal of Dispute Resolution and the Washington and Lee Law Review. The better you understand the process, the higher the chances of getting the right amount of compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury settlements help you cover your expenses when someone else’s negligence causes your injuries. These expenses can build up over time, leaving you with substantial debt that needs to be paid. Some of these expenses include:
- Medical bills: Physical injuries often require medical treatment to heal properly. Depending on the severity of these injuries, you could rack up expensive medical bills—especially if you need ongoing care.
- Mental healthcare: Mental and emotional stress may require mental healthcare services such as therapy or medication to address. Victims who suffer trauma often seek mental health support, which requires longer-term care options.
- Property damage: You can claim for any property damaged in an accident (e.g., cell phones, cars, personal items).
- Lost wages: If you miss work while recovering from an injury, you can claim for lost wages and other forms of income (e.g., retirement contributions).
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy helps you heal and correct conditions that resulted from your accident.
- Legal fees: In some cases, you can claim legal fees since you would not need a lawyer if you had not suffered injuries and needed to negotiate with insurance adjusters or file a lawsuit.
There are other types of expenses that you can claim not covered on this list. If you suffered injuries, make sure that you document all your related expenses. These records can help you request an accurate amount to reimburse you for your losses.
When seeking compensation, there are specific criteria that you must meet—the most important being that the injuries you claim must relate to the incident. You can use medical records and other pieces of evidence to prove the connection.
You must also account for any legal requirements in the state and city where you file the lawsuit. Every state has different laws regarding how to handle personal injury cases. For example, some states do not allow you to file personal injury lawsuits unless it is under specific conditions because they have “no-fault” laws that prevent anyone from being held at fault for accidents.
If you have questions regarding your state’s laws and how they will impact your case, you might want to consult a personal injury lawyer who practices in your state for assistance.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 223-5115
Legal cases use precedents or a history of similar cases to guide the outcomes. Judges rely on precedent to understand laws within the context of each case. You can use this to your advantage by citing a precedent when arguing for a higher settlement amount.
If you can cite similar cases that had higher settlement values under similar circumstances, you might convince the insurance adjuster or the court to increase the amount of your award.
One way that you can increase your personal injury settlement is through negotiations. When an insurance company or the at-fault party makes you a settlement offer, you can accept or decline the offer. You can also create a counteroffer with terms that you prefer.
This process continues until the two sides come to an agreement. Insurance companies expect you to negotiate, which is why their first offer tends to be low. They reduce the starting point for negotiations to minimize the amount of money they must pay.
If you have never negotiated a deal, especially under high stress, you might benefit from hiring a lawyer to handle the negotiations for you. Lawyers negotiate deals regularly and can handle the stress of the process. Lawyers with experience in personal injury cases likely have worked on cases with similar facts as your situation.
Settlement agreements resolve most cases because it takes a long time for cases to go to trial, and both sides grow impatient while waiting. A settlement agreement is a faster way of ending the case.
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If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence and need to file a personal injury case, you might want to consult an attorney. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm accepts personal injury cases nationwide. Contact us at (800) 223-5115 for a free case evaluation with a team member. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started.