Personal Injury Claim and What Can Be Done to Maximize Payment for Your Damages by anamaulida


									The most common question personal injury lawyers get from their clients
is, "What is my case worth?"or "what will my settlement be?" The answer
is dependent on many factors, including the type of injury the client
sustained, the severity of the injury, the city, county and state where
the injury occurred, whether the client sustained economic losses such as
wage loss, whether the jury can relate to the client, whether the jury
likes the client and his attorney, whether the jury feels compassion for
the client and/or the at-fault party, and, among many other factors, the
quality of the evidence presented at trial and at mediation. Any attorney
who promises what a case is worth during the initial meeting is one you
may wish to steer clear from. I advise client that if they are promised a
certain amount in money damages in a settlement or trial, to ask that
lawyer to put his opinion in writing.What should be the focus is on what
you can do to maximize settlement offers and jury verdicts. Below are
examples of what can be done to maximize payment for your harms and
losses.1. Always tell the truth. Be completely upfront with your attorney
and your treating doctor about any previous injuries and do not embellish
your injuries or damages. This is critical. As a former insurance defense
attorney for the largest insurance defense law firm in the U.S.,
insurance companies look far and wide for previous injuries and are very
good at what they do. The likelihood that they uncover previous injuries
is very high and they hope that you will lie about your injuries, so that
they may exploit this at mediation or at trial. As a former insurance
company trial attorney, I routinely hired investigators to help determine
where plaintiffs may have had prescriptions filled. The records would
then list all doctors who prescribed the plaintiff medications, then I
would subpoena the records of each and every doctor or hospital
referenced in the pharmacy records. This is just one tool that litigation
savvy insurance defense attorneys utilize to uncover previous injuries.
Another tool is to subpoena the records of each and every health
insurance company, which provided health insurance to the plaintiff.2.
Attend each and every appointment with your medical provider, including
physical therapists. Insurance defense attorney focus in on missed
appointments and will argue that a plaintiff would be better if he or she
attended these missed appointments and attempt to convince the jury that
you do not care about getting better. Further, providers, especially
physical therapists, oftentimes comment about missed appointments. Make
sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling in detail at every
appointment.3. Tell your doctor or physical therapist how you are
feeling. If your doctor asks how you are feeling, and at that time you
are feeling lethargic because of medications or that the night before you
experienced significant pain, tell your doctor about it. If he or she
asks you how you are feeling, and you answer "fine" when you really are
not, your doctor will likely write in your chart "patient reports that he
is feeling fine today".4. Maintain a journal of all medical appointments
and a lot of days where you felt more pain than others. It may be hard to
remember specific details a year after the injury. For example, write
down when it was impossible to catch any sleep because of a back injury,
or where you had to take a day off from work because of pain, or that you
weren't able to attend a camping trip with your son's Cub Scout pack
because it involved carrying heavy equipment. These are important facts
that your attorney will want to present to the insurance company in
settlement negotiations or explain to a jury. Provide this journal to
your attorney at regular intervals.5. Take photographs of the damage to
your vehicle, motorcycle, etc.: Oftentimes clients have their car
repaired before hiring an attorney. If you have been involved in an auto,
truck, bicycle or motorcycle crash, have a friend or family member
immediately take multiple photographs of your vehicle, motorcycle or
bicycle. Your attorney will use these photographs during settlement
negotiations, mediation and at trial. It is important for the jury to
understand the impact. Do not include yourself in any photographs. Don't
count on your insurance company turning over photographs to you.These are
just a few things to keep in mind to maximize the compensation for your
harms and losses.

To top