5 Tips to Increase Your Insurance Settlement in a Personal Injury Claim

If you sustained serious injuries in an accident, you’re entitled to claim fair compensation from the party at fault for your physical and mental suffering. Hiring a seasoned lawyer who specializes in representing accident injury cases empowers you to navigate the legal challenges the other party may throw at you to undermine the value of your claim.

car crash collision in urban street

Once you have a reputable attorney by your side, the following tips will help you work as a team with your lawyer in order to maximize your settlement.

Be prepared for a thorough investigation into the accident

When you contact an insurance company to pay for your medical bills and other losses incurred due to the injury, remember that the process may not always be easy. The insurer will first conduct a detailed investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident and to find out if an existing illness contributed to your present health condition in any way.

They will also investigate each and every medical bill to ensure it was paid only toward treating the injuries sustained in the accident. Their goal, as a business organization, is to minimize the settlement amount, and they may take several months before making you an offer.

You may be under the watch of a private investigator

Before they cut you a check, an insurance provider will try every trick in the book to minimize the value of your claim. If, for instance, you claimed severe injuries that compromised your quality of life, they may hire an investigator to watch your public activities, including your social media posts.

They can and will use this information to undermine your case, which is why most injured persons prefer to work with a specialist attorney to guide them about the do’s and don’ts of an injury lawsuit.

Be warned that you may even be tricked into doing heavy physical work by investigators posing as members of public, to show the court that you are capable of physical exertion and therefore do not deserve the compensation you asked for.

Know that you need not accept the first offer that comes your way

In the haste to settle a case for less, the insurance company may make you a settlement offer that covers your immediate medical bills (and any damages to private property).

Experienced personal injury lawyers advise against accepting an offer that may seem generous but may not cover your long-term recovery costs. According to Don Ernst from Ernst Law Group, if you accept a settlement too early, the insurer will not have to give any more compensation, even if you discover more accident-related problems after the settlement.

Consult a competent legal professional to determine the true value of your claim and negotiate a better offer with the insurance carrier.

Don’t be in a rush to settle your claim

If you don’t have adequate health insurance or other means to pay for treatment, you may find it hard to pay your medical bills and cater to your family’s needs while you await full recovery. This may pressurize you to settle your claim as early as possible, which is not in your best interests.

Remember that an insurance company only reimburses your medical costs, which means you’ll have to find a way to fund your treatment on your own. Talk to your lawyer about other ways you can meet your medical costs, such as auto Med Pay, a family member’s insurance that covers you as well, medical leave, lost work coverage, medical insurance from your auto insurance provider, and workers compensation from your employer.

You can also seek a medical lien wherein your medical provider won’t bill you for their services and instead will claim a portion of your settlement or recovery money.

Don’t hide any facts from your attorney

Whether it’s a past illness or injury or even the most trivial information related to your accident, share everything with your accident injury lawyer. Hiding facts can seriously jeopardize your claim.  Many strong injury cases are lost even by the best of lawyers because the injured party willfully or inadvertently concealed their medical history.

Keep a detailed record of all medical bills, prescriptions, medication, and other purchases such as crutches, braces or splints. Your attorney will need these as evidence of the extent of your injury. In addition, inform your lawyer about every detail that could affect your case, such as changing your doctor, going back to work, unemployment benefit claims and the like.


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