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Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement

Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement

The majority of plaintiffs (injured parties) who file personal injury claims will only file such a claim once, or maybe twice in their lifetime so they don’t usually know what they’re doing. They don’t know the rules or “best practices” so to speak. In order to help injured parties be the most productive when filing claims, here are our tips for maximizing a personal injury settlement:

1. Document the scene of the accident. If you’re in a car accident and you’re physically able, take out your cellphone and take lots of pictures of the accident scene. We also recommend taking video of where the vehicles landed and skid marks. These pictures and video footage will come in handy during the claims process. If you were assaulted in a parking lot or bitten by a dog, take pictures and video of any applicable evidence because it can tell a powerful story.

2. Get the witnesses’ information. If someone witnessed the incident, be sure to get their name, address and phone number so they can be contacted at a later date. If someone sees what happened and you fail to get their information, you may never be able to track them down again.

3. Call the police. You want to contact the authorities right away and have them write a police report. Not only does this provide additional evidence about the accident, but the police are great about getting the at-fault party’s information so they can’t give you false information or try to evade responsibility.

4. Photograph your injuries. Regardless if you were in a car accident, attacked by a vicious dog, assaulted in a dark parking lot, or injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s critical that you document your injuries and a good way to do this is take lots of pictures. If you have any other evidence, such as bloody clothing, be sure to take pictures of it and preserve the evidence – don’t throw it out because it can show what you endured.

5. Seek medical attention asap. Whenever you’re injured in a car crash or in another type of accident, it’s important that you seek medical attention that day, or if that’s not practical, seek medical attention the following day, but don’t wait more than 72 hours. If you fail to seek medical attention, the insurance company can argue that you weren’t hurt enough to see a doctor or go to the hospital.

6. Don’t allow for gaps in treatment. If your doctor prescribes a treatment program, don’t miss follow-up visits, chiropractic visits, medical tests, or physical therapy sessions. If you miss doctors’ appointments or have gaps in treatment, it sends a message that you’re not really hurt and possibly committing fraud.

7. Learn how your insurance works. It’s very important to understand your insurance coverage and how your policy works. If you don’t understand something, ask your personal injury attorney. We recommend mailing a letter to your health insurance company telling it to send all medical bills to your attorney for payment.

8. Don’t miss the statute of limitations! Each state has a deadline for filing a personal injury claim and in South Carolina, this deadline (known as the statute of limitations) is three yearsfrom the date of injury. If you fail to file a claim within this window, you lose your right to file a claim permanently.

To file a personal injury claim in Columbia, South Carolina, contact our office today!

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