In order to file a successful personal injury claim, you must be able to prove two things:
- The accident was caused because of somebody else’s fault
- Your injuries were caused because of that particular accident
If you can prove both of the above statements you have a good chance of winning your claim and being awarded compensation for your injuries. However, it does not automatically guarantee that you will receive a “fair” settlement. Several factors go into calculating personal injury compensation amounts. What you do after the accident is crucial is to winning the maximum compensation for your personal injury claim.
Here are seven things you can do to maximise compensation in your personal injury claim.
Preserve All Evidence Related To The Accident
Proving fault can be very difficult if you do not have any evidence to support your accident claim. The exact evidence you will need to strengthen your case depends on the nature of the accident in question.
In general, some things you can use as evidence include, but are not limited to:
- Photographs or videos of the scene of the accident
- Photographs of your injuries
- Statements from anybody who witnessed the accident
- A written report in the workplace accident book in case of an accident at work
- A copy of the recordings from nearby CCTV cameras if they captured the accident
- A police report in case of a road accident of any type
- The doctor’s report including a record of all diagnostic reports, medical treatments, prescription medication and any procedures performed to treat the injuries
- A record of important details surrounding the accident including date, time, and location of the accident.
Consult A Doctor Immediately After The Accident
Consulting a doctor is the single most important thing you must do after any accident. This is even more important if you are planning to pursue a personal injury claim.
A doctor’s report about the cause and severity of your injuries can be crucial to claiming maximum compensation. This report also serves to document the treatments you will need as well as your prospects of recovering fully. A doctor’s detailed report offers an accurate picture of your damages, and forms the basis of calculating compensation. It’s almost impossible to win a personal injury claim without this report.
Important things to remember when you meet with a doctor:
- Tell the doctor about all symptoms following the accident, however minor they may seem. If you fail to report any symptom, if it does get worse with time, you might not be able to add it to the report later on, and you might not get compensated for that injury.
- Do not make your injuries out to be worse than they are. The defendant’s insurance company is sure to look into your injuries and will get your claim invalidated if they discover you are lying.
- Don’t depend fully on the doctor to ask you all the right questions. Volunteer information if your doctor fails to ask you something that you think could be important
Keep A Record Of All Financial Losses
If you want to be compensated for all the losses you’ve suffered after the accident, you must first know how much it has cost you. It’s pretty much impossible to remember all the expenses if you do not have a record. Keep a separate folder where you file all receipts or write down all expenses related to the accident. This might include:
- Any medical expenses including doctor’s fees and the cost of prescription medicine, diagnostic tests and procedures
- Cost of traveling to and from the hospital for ongoing treatment including hospital parking
- Cost of personal assistive devices to help you function independently after the accident
- Cost of structural changes to your home or vehicle
- Cost of domestic help if you are no longer able to manage housework by yourself
- Costs incurred by family and friends who have had to help you
- Costs of damaged or ruined property due to the accident
Do Not Accept The First Offer Without Seeking Expert Advice
It’s standard practice for insurance companies to reach out to accident victims and offer a settlement, especially when they are sure they are going to lose. Their offer may sound generous but it most probably isn’t. The insurance company may only be offering you the money to get out of a larger settlement. The problem is, once you accept their offer, you could forfeit your right to pursue any more compensation. Speak to a personal injury solicitor first, it may surprise you just how much compensation they calculate you could receive.
Keep A Diary Or Injury Journal
The days, weeks, and months following a major injury can go by in a blur of medical treatments and mounting expenses. You may also go through a lot of highs and lows as you grapple with the pain, the inability to participate in activities you’ve always enjoyed, and the uncertainty of what the future holds. Recording your thoughts and emotions in a diary can emphasise how the accident affected you mentally and psychologically. This can help you get maximum compensation for the pain and suffering that the accident caused you.
File Your Claim As Soon As Possible
All personal injury claims must be filed within three years from the time of the accident or three years from the time of the diagnosis. If the statute of limitations expires, you may lose all rights to claim compensation for your specific injury. Putting together the necessary evidence and documentation can take more time than you may think so don’t wait. It’s important to get started as soon as you are able to and file the claim before the deadline.
Get In Touch With A Personal Injury Solicitor
Winning a personal injury claim without any professional legal help is not easy. Even if all the evidence points in your favour, you still risk not getting the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Personal injury solicitors are experts in this area. Once they agree to represent you, they will research precedents and consult with medical experts to determine the extent and prognosis of your injuries and to calculate maximum compensation. They will also negotiate with the defendant’s lawyers to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
Each of these seven tips is equally important to winning maximum compensation for any personal injury claim.