When filing a personal injury lawsuit, it's important to do everything you can to obtain the largest settlement possible. It can be a long process, so you need to make sure you do it right. Before you begin to do anything, make sure all your ducks are in a row. Here is what you need to do to maximize your settlement.
Obtain & Preserve Evidence
You need to begin collecting evidence as soon as the injury occurs. This should begin with a police report. As soon as the incident happens, make sure you call the police. It's normal to be hesitant about getting the police involved, but it's difficult to build a court case around an incident that no formal police has record of. Next, you need to take photos of the injury, if there is a visible injury. Any bite marks, bruises, stitches, or anything else that can be seen needs to be photographed before it heals.
Write down everything as soon as you're able. After the incident occurs, write down where it happened and exactly how it happened step by step. This will keep your story completely accurate and you won't forget anything. No one can dispute the facts that are recorded immediately. Finally, make sure you seek medical attention immediately. Not doing so will cause two major issues. One, the court will be less likely to believe that your injury is serious if you didn't bother to go to the hospital. Second, you will have no proof of the severity of the injury without professional documentation. The medical records are the proof that can make or break your personal injury claim.
Don't Use Social Media
Social media isn't always a bad thing, but it can be. People tend to let loose on social media and give people a glimpse into their lives that they sometimes shouldn't. While filing a lawsuit, your social media use can seriously hurt you. Just one photo of you out having fun can hurt your claim to serious injury. If the opposing lawyer gets a hold of that photo, he or she could take it out of context and make it look worse than it is. Any status updates that can be misconstrued can also hurt your case. You might think that you're being careful on social media, but it's best to stay off of it completely. Temporarily deactivate your accounts if you have to. It might be a better option since they won't appear online while they're deactivated.
Hire a Lawyer
When it comes to hiring a personal injury attorney, you don't want to hire the first lawyer you see. Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency, so you don't have to pay a retainer or fees as the case progresses. This leaves your options open to hire better lawyers that you wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. You won't have to pay the lawyer unless he or she wins your case. At that point, your lawyer gets a pre-determined percentage of your settlement.
Most states have a limit on how much the lawyer can take from your settlement. The majority of lawyers take one-third of your settlement, up to the maximum allowed amount. However, it's common for lawyers to take up to 40%. You can always try to negotiate the agreement before hiring the lawyer. Make sure you interview many lawyers before choosing one. They are performing a service for you; hence, they work for you. Do a proper job interview before choosing your lawyer.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is a great way to reduce stress in your life by paying for time lost at work and medical bills. Make sure you do everything you can do to win the largest settlement possible.