You are a careful and conscientious person. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of every other person.
If you have been injured owing to the inattention, negligence, or recklessness of someone else, you should build up a case and sue. You should especially take this action if you have been injured on the job, in a public facility, or as the result of an accident caused by a distracted, inebriated, or thoughtless driver. In the last of these instances, you may have to go up against the insurance company of the person who hit you, and they will do all that they can to discredit your claim or have it dismissed.
Contacting a lawyer should be your first move after the accident. You will need a legal strategy, or at least the beginnings of one, before you file suit.
In this article, our friends at Foyle Legal Perth – a law firm that has extensive experience and expertise in handling personal injury cases – share their tips on how to maximize your personal injury payout.
It’s not about greed, mind you
Filing a law suit is not about greed or revenge. Being in a car accident, for example, can have a significant impact on your life. You might sustain the kind of injuries that can lead to a period of hospitalization. You will then need to pay for the costs of the time you spent in hospital and any additional expenses associated with your recovery. You will lose income as a result of being out of work. If the accident was bad enough, you may lose your job or be forced to take another job that pays less.
You should not have to carry such a burden on your own. The person whose negligence has caused your pain and suffering should be held accountable. Filing a law suit is the best way to get the justice you deserve.
You may have some reticence about hiring a personal injury lawyer. Pursuing a law suit can be expensive so the concern is legitimate. However, most law firms arrange it so that they get a percentage of the compensation you are awarded. Indeed, most such law firms will not even take your case unless they can win it.
Personal injury lawyers specialize in the kind of law they practice. They are trained to gather evidence, introduce expert and eyewitness testimony, employ forensic evidence, and bring to bear the relevant bits of law to your case. At the end of the day, however, it will be a jury of your peers who decide that you have been wronged and deserve compensation.
It is the job of your lawyer to put the best case possible before the jury. It is the aim of respondent’s lawyers to refute every argument and invalidate every piece of evidence you try to introduce. If your case goes to trial, every aspect of your life will be examined. The defence’s legal team will pick apart every word you say and every action you take. You will be, in a sense, in the public eye. That is why you must be careful as you go through this process.
Your lawyer cannot win the case without you. You must therefore play a constructive role in the trial if you are to get the compensation you deserve. Remember that you are not after small change. The accident has turned your life upside down and forced severe financial difficulties upon you. It is important that you get as much money as you can in the judgment.
How to maximize your payout?
Here are 5 ways to maximize your personal injury payout:
1. Preserve Crash Scene Evidence
You must get photographs of the accident. You should also collect witness statements and get the witnesses who were closest to the scene of the crash to testify. If you were rushed to the hospital after the accident, you will not be able to do any of this. However, your lawyer can collect such evidence. One of the first motions they’ll file is for copies of police crash scene photos. They will also be able to gather the names and contact information for the people who were there.
2. Preserve Medical Documents
Even if you received minor injuries, you should see a doctor. The symptoms of severe injuries do not always present themselves straightaway. You may develop later complications as a result of your accident and need to return to the hospital for treatment.
In all cases, you must insist on the creation and preservation of medical records. The health care professionals who treat you should document your injuries and formulate a recovery plan. You should verify that all they intend to do is written down. These will be crucial as evidence in your trial.
3. Value Your Claim Fully
Do not assume that you are limited to claiming compensation for only some of your injuries. Every sort of setback caused by the accident should be figured into the amount you are asking for.
You can receive money for the strain and mental anguish that you and your family have suffered. You can also receive compensation if the accident has led to the loss of certain body functions. Finally, you can receive money for the financial loss that results from having to take a lower-paying job.
Your attorney will help you work out the exact figure. It will be based on similar cases that they have handled.
4. Don’t Settle Easily
There may come a point at which the respondent is willing to settle. This can happen before or in the midst of a trial. They may make you an offer if they think the evidence and the jury is going against them. Don’t seem too eager to accept it. You must make them think you are willing to go the distance to get what you deserve.
5. Stay Off Social Media
You should take a break from social media during the trial. If you claim to be severely injured and your Facebook profile shows you at a barbeque, the defence will use that against you. It can seriously damage your case and make the jury think twice about the amount of money they are willing to award you.
Now over to you…
Have you ever tried to maximize your personal injury payout? If so, please share your tips on how to achieve just that.