A significant injury can have life-altering consequences, either temporary or permanent. Regardless of the severity of the injury, if the accident that caused the harm was the fault of someone else, you deserve compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you’ve experienced as a result.
With mounting medical bills, ongoing treatments necessary in the future, and pain and trauma interfering with your quality of life, you deserve the maximum compensation so you can move forward with your focus on physical recovery rather than financial worries. An experienced McKinney personal injury attorney can diligently navigate the legal system and work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure you get the settlement or court award that you deserve, but it’s important to take certain steps and consider all aspects of your injury’s impact on your life in order to maximize your claim for compensation.
Have a Full Medical Evaluation
The most important first step toward physical and financial recovery is to seek immediate medical care after an injury, whether from a car accident, slip-and-fall incident, or any other accident where another party’s actions, negligence, or wrongdoing led to the injury. Allow paramedics to transport you to an emergency room for medical care or see a doctor as soon as you’re legally allowed to leave the scene of the accident. Then, take the following actions to maximize your compensation:
- Tell the medical team about all of your symptoms
- Ask for a detailed medical report including all of your injuries, recommended treatments, and prognosis
- Follow all doctor recommendations including attending every appointment for treatment, follow-up, and physical therapy, and filling all prescriptions
- See a therapist if you experience PTSD, anxiety, or depression
- Keep copies of all medical records and every medical bill
File Your Claim in a Timely Manner
All states have a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including a two-year time limit in Texas. It’s important to be prompt with your actions when filing a claim. Typically, the sooner you file your case the better since evidence and eyewitness testimony degrades over time. However, filing too quickly may mean you aren’t yet fully aware of the extent of your injuries or the amount of time and money involved in your care and recovery. Be sure to have a full understanding and documented evidence of your condition and its impact on your physical and financial state in the months and years to come before you file so you can arrive at a sum that maximizes the compensation for your damages.
Don’t Rush to Accept a Settlement Offer
Insurance companies are in the business to make profits. That means their business model depends on taking in more in premiums than they pay out in claims. Often the insurance provider of the at-fault person or entity in your case will quickly contact you with a settlement offer. While you’re dealing with the traumatic aftermath of an accident, any monetary amount may seem appealing; however, it’s important to understand that a hastily offered settlement is almost always a low-balled amount and less compensation than you need and deserve for your damages.
Direct all communications with insurance companies to your personal injury attorney and provide documented evidence as to why the amount is not enough to cover present and future damages. Be aware that insurance adjusters are NOT on your side no matter how friendly and concerned they sound. Often they record phone conversations and selectively use your words out of context against you later.
Avoid Social Media
Always avoid social media during the duration of your personal injury claim case. You could be experiencing severe back pain, but if you smile for a photo from your lounge chair on the beach the social media post can be used as evidence against the significance of your injuries.
Remain Respectful and Courteous
Finally, present yourself respectfully and courteously at all meetings and hearings. Be prompt, on time, and presentable. Listen carefully and speak thoughtfully to present your case in the best possible light and with clarity.
It can be difficult to remain calm and resolute during the aftermath of an injury, but your actions in the days, weeks, and months after your injury can help to maximize the compensation you gain for the economic and non-economic damages caused by an at-fault party.