8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Personal Injury Compensation
Obtaining financial compensation for your personal injuries could help you pay for medical costs, lost wages, property repairs, and more. A settlement or judgment award could help you and your family move on after a major personal injury accident, such as a car crash or slip and fall.
You can take steps as a victim to get more for your claim.
Go to the Hospital
Insurance companies will look for reasons to deny your claim or minimize your settlement amount. Investigating your case and discovering you waited days or weeks after your alleged accident to see a doctor could be a red flag. The insurance company could use this fact against you, to assert that you either made up the accident or worsened your own injuries by delaying medical care. Getting prompt medical attention, even if you do not know if you have injuries, can protect your right to compensation.
Report to the Police
Do not be afraid to call the police to report your accident or injury. The police can investigate the accident and help you understand what happened. You can also receive an official police report, which can be useful for your claim down the road. In Minnesota, it is against the law to fail to notify police if an auto accident causes injuries, deaths, or greater than $1,000 in property damage.
Do Not Admit Fault
After any type of accident, do not apologize or admit fault to others involved. Be polite, but do not say anything that could place the blame on you. Do not admit fault to police officers or insurance company agents, either. Instead, stick to the facts and do not speculate about fault. Wait for official investigations to name who or what may be at fault for your injuries. Factors could be at play that you are not aware of, such as the other person’s negligence or a defective product.
Start collecting and preserving evidence as soon as possible. Evidence may include the other party’s name and contact information, photographs of the scene, your police report number, medical records, eyewitness statements, black box information, and communications with insurance companies.
Do Not Trust Insurance Companies
When you receive a phone call from an insurance claims adjuster, know this person is not on your side. The adjuster works for the insurance company, and wants to minimize the carrier’s liability. Do not give the adjuster permission to record a statement from you. Answer questions honestly, but do not give more information than is necessary.
Wait to Accept a Settlement
Do not accept the first settlement from an insurance company. Chances are the company is trying to take advantage of you by offering less than your claim is worth, on the hope that you will agree. Instead, take the time to call an attorney for a free case evaluation. You can trust the estimate you get from an attorney will be accurate.
Speak to an Attorney
Talking to an attorney is one of the best ways to get the most out of your personal injury compensation. An injury attorney will know all the best tips and strategies to securing full and fair financial compensation. An attorney can take over communications with insurance providers on your behalf, fighting for better settlements with aggressive negotiations. An attorney may also be able to take a case to court if necessary, for a higher compensation amount.
Do Not Miss a Deadline
Finally, make sure you do not miss any important deadlines during the claims process. Missing your statute of limitations is one of the quickest ways to lose any right to financial compensation. In Minnesota, the deadline to bring a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. Check with an attorney if you are unsure of the deadline for your claim.