As follow-up to our previous note on valuing your personal injury case, we’d like to explain how to maximize the value of your general personal injury case.
First up, if you are able, try to document liability.
If you were in a car accident or slip and fall, try to secure any of the following, as applicable:
- Traffic accident or incident report – with premises liability, it can be helpful to have an incident report written by a manager
- Witness contact information and statements
- Any photos, videos, etc. of damages or defects
If you are in any way injured in the accident, call for an ambulance, or go directly to the ER.
It is extremely helpful to have someone document your injuries and the incident. Tell the nurses or doctors exactly what happened and where you are hurting.
Always remember that some injuries may worsen over time. If your shoulder even feels funny, tell the nurse and get it documented.
Choosing an attorney
It’s important to get the right attorney for your case. Find an attorney who specializes and has shown results on cases like yours. A good attorney can make a huge difference in settlement value.
Remember that you will be working with this firm for a few months to a few years. Choose one that will give you and your case personal attention, and respect your input as a client.
The first rule of personal injury treatment is to be consistent. Don’t show lapses in treatment. If something is still wrong, try to fix it.
Given the uncertainty of injury recovery, it is tough for your attorney to get a maximum value for your case early-on. Rushing into surgery is never a good idea, but once recommended do not delay.
Given that you’ve hired your attorney, think of treatment as your only job as a plaintiff. Get better while your medical expenses will be covered, not after.
See our post on budgeting for a personal injury case. Don’t let financial pressure make you settle early. Within reason, try to give your attorney the time he or she needs to fight for you.
Have a candid discussion with your attorney before signing about how long they think it will take to get a recovery, and what feeds into the range they give you.
If you are out of a job, use lawsuit funding as a last resort.