If you’ve been injured in a car accident, truck collision, motorcycle crash, or another type of incident, pursuing compensation for your medical bills can be confusing. If you’ve never filed a claim or personal injury suit before, you might be unfamiliar with the process and the terms, like “settlement,” that you encounter along the way.
Fortunately, the team at Vaughan & Vaughan can provide the information and representation you need to recover maximum compensation. For example, a personal injury attorney from our team can explain that a settlement is essentially the compensation you’ll receive from an insurance claim.
A lawyer will be able to answer any questions you have about the claims process, but in the meantime, let’s discuss settlements further.
How Can a Settlement Help Me After a Personal Injury Incident?
Whether you’ve been injured in an auto collision, a slip and fall, or another incident, you’ve probably suffered a number of financial losses and been met with other non-monetary challenges. Fortunately, a settlement can provide the compensation you need to cover your accident-related expenses and cope with the struggles you’ve been burdened with.
A settlement can compensate for any of the following losses:
- Current, ongoing, and future medical expenses
- Cost of ambulance transportation, hospitalization, and other emergency services
- Cost of prescription medication, assistive devices, and physical therapy
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
As you can see, a settlement may provide compensation for your expenses as well as the emotional challenges you face after an accident. To get the compensation you need to deal with issues like emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life, an attorney can use your personal testimony along with a statement from your mental health counselor.
Your attorney can use the information and evidence you provide to convince the insurance company that you deserve compensation for the emotional suffering you’ve been put through.
How do I Get a Settlement?
Now that you know more about what a settlement is and how it can help you after an accident, you’re probably wondering how you can get a settlement. To obtain a settlement, you’ll need to file a claim against the party that caused your accident and injury.
However, you won’t actually be filing a claim with the at-fault party. Instead, you’ll file a claim with their insurance provider. To file a successful insurance claim, you’ll need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
If you choose to file a claim by yourself, it will likely get rejected, or the insurance company will find a way to avoid paying you the amount you deserve. To get you the highest insurance settlement possible, an attorney can take the following steps:
Investigate the Accident
Unfortunately, the insurance company won’t simply take your word for it that you suffered injuries and financial losses in an accident. Your lawyer must collect evidence and prove that you deserve a settlement. They’ll collect the following pieces of evidence to build a convincing claim on your behalf:
- Accident reports
- Eye-witness testimony
- Testimony from accident reconstructionists
- Photos of the accident scene
- Footage of the incident from nearby cameras
- Your medical records
Next, your attorney must use the evidence they collected to prove that the at-fault party should be held liable for your injuries and losses. To prove liability, your lawyer will have to establish the following elements:
- The driver owed your a duty of care
- The driver breached the duty of care
- The driver’s breach caused your injuries
- You suffered financial losses as a result
If your attorney can prove the four elements listed above to the at-fault party’s insurance company, it’s likely that you’ll receive a settlement that covers your losses, but not without a fight.
Fight for Your Compensation
Even when your lawyer demonstrates to the insurance provider that the at-fault party should be held liable for your losses, there’s still a chance that the insurer will only offer a lowball settlement. If that happens, your attorney will have to negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain a settlement that works for you.
If you choose an experienced attorney to help with your claim, they will probably have some negotiation skills they can draw on when working with the insurance company. They’ll use their knowledge and skill set to persuade insurers that you deserve a high-value settlement.
What You Can do to Improve Your Chances of Receiving a Fair Settlement
While it’s true that a personal injury lawyer can do most of the heavy lifting during your case, there are a few steps you can take to help them. Here’s what you can do to improve your chances of receiving a sufficient settlement:
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical care should be your first priority after an accident. Doing so will not only keep you healthy and safe, but it will also show insurers that your injuries are real and your claim is legitimate. If you wait too long to seek treatment, insurers might think that you are exaggerating your injuries for an insurance payment.
Document the Incident
In addition to seeking medical attention, it can also be extremely helpful to document the accident you were injured in. You’ll want to take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. You should also speak to anyone who saw the incident and take down their contact information if they agree to provide witness testimony.
It can also be helpful to keep a record of the expenses, inconveniences, and emotional challenges you experience due to the incident. For example, if you experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, having a written record of it can help your attorney get the financial support you need to cope with the emotional distress you’re dealing with.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer to Fight for Your Settlement
Once you’ve received medical attention and done everything you can to document the incident, it’s time to hand your case over to an experienced personal injury attorney. At Vaughan & Vaughan, we’ve won significant settlements and court verdicts for countless accident victims just like yourself.
Once you’ve taken a look at our case results, you’ll realize that our firm is the right choice for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. They’ll answer any questions you have about settlements, determine if you have grounds for a claim, and help you explore your legal options.