How you increase your personal injury settlement is by ensuring you identify as many of your related expenses and losses as possible so that you can put a fair settlement value on your case.
In many cases, this is best done with the help of a personal injury lawyer. At the very least, we advise accident victims to speak with an attorney before signing a settlement agreement.
How to Maximize Your Settlement After Being Injured in an Accident
Settlements are mostly dependent on how severe your losses were after your accident; however, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not missing out on the compensation that you need. During the legal process, follow these steps to get the most out of your financial award:
- Carefully document your expenses and missed work. If you spent money you wouldn’t normally spend, keep your receipt. Any medical bills, repair estimates, or out-of-pocket expenses should be recoverable. Also keep track of the time you were unable to work, as your attorney can pursue any wages, tips, and benefits you lost.
- Your attorney can use your physician as an expert witness. If you suffered severe or long-term injuries, you will need medical compensation for your future treatment and recovery. Your physician should be able to testify to the extent of your medical needs for the future, so your legal team can include this expense in your settlement demands.
- Speak with an attorney before making any statements. Unfortunately, what you say and do after your accident can make a difference in your final settlement amount. An attorney can prevent you from making costly mistakes that will ultimately impact your financial award.
- Keep a journal to record your recovery process. To recoup compensation for your physical, emotional, and mental suffering, an attorney may be able to use your personal testimony as evidence. Track what you feel, how you’re struggling physically, and the ways you are being inconvenienced on a daily basis because of your injuries.
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What Damages Are Recoverable?
- Medical treatment and care costs
- Lost wages and compensation to cover future lost income
- Compensation for your physical pain and psychological suffering
- Damages for your lasting impairments or scarring
Identify Your Expenses After a Personal Injury Accident
Getting an accurate calculation of your accident and injury-related expenses requires identifying as many of those costs as possible.
You will need to collect evidence to prove your current medical costs and lost wages, in addition to other related expenses. Bills, receipts, and other documents should be kept in a folder, so they are available to support your demand for financial recovery when needed.
You should evaluate your current expenses and losses, putting a price on how much you have already lost. These losses could include:
- Your treatment costs
- Your missed paychecks
- Property damage repairs
- Parking fees at the doctor’s office
- Cab fare for an appointment
Work with Experts to Put a Price on Future Expenses
You will be able to increase your personal injury settlement by ensuring you consider your future costs as well. If your injuries are relatively minor and you are already finished with treatment and back at work, you may not have future losses related to your accident.
However, many people move forward with their accident cases while still facing additional treatment, more time away from work, and other future expenses.
If you work with an attorney, they can call in experts from the medical field, economists, and other specialists to determine your future care needs and put an accurate estimate on the costs and losses you will likely face. These estimates are added to your current damages to reach the total of your economic losses.
Do Not Forget Your Intangible Damages
The last category of damages you will need to value is your intangible losses. These losses include your physical pain, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, and other damages that do not have a monetary value. These damages are difficult to put a price on, but they are essential not to overlook.
Some states limit the amount of non-economic damages you can recover in certain types of personal injury cases. If you partner with a lawyer on your case, they can explain these rules to you. They will also value your intangible damages based on the standards generally used in your jurisdiction.
Meet with an Attorney to Ensure Your Settlement Offer Is Fair
When a lawyer represents an accident victim, they identify their damages, calculate a fair value for the case, and demand a payout that compensates their client fairly. It is a good idea to let an attorney review your settlement offer before you sign it, even if they are not handling other aspects of your case.
If you have begun the settlement negotiation process without support from a law firm, you should meet with one to discuss your settlement offer before you sign anything. Consulting with an attorney will help you determine if you should agree to an offer or fight for additional compensation to cover your expenses and losses.
It is important to do this before you sign an agreement because you will not be able to make changes or take further action afterward.
Speak with a Morris Bart, LLC Team Member for Free
You can get started today with a free case consultation from the Morris Bart law firm. We are a contingency fee firm and we only seek fair and just payouts for our clients.
Call today to speak with a team member about your injuries, prognosis, and legal options for holding the at-fault party responsible.
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