After a serious accident you may have physical, mental, and emotional injuries. You may also have additional concerns over how the costs of those injuries will be covered. You may seek to recover compensation to cover the costs of both economic and non-economic damages by filing a personal injury claim.
How to Increase Your Odds of Recovering Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim
Although winning a lawsuit is never guaranteed, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of recovering compensation in a personal injury claim. To clarify, a lawsuit is filed in a court of law for adjudication. In contrast, a claim is when the lawsuit is not yet filed and is a direct negotiation with the insurance company or responsible party in an attempt to resolve the matter prior to the filing of a lawsuit. A settlement can be made either before a lawsuit is filed or once a lawsuit is filed. A settlement includes terms of payment for compensation and other terms applicable to the case perhaps including repairs to property and other actions.
How Can You Prove That Your Injury Was Caused by Negligent Behavior?
You may prove liability or fault in a personal injury claim by demonstrating that the other party acted with negligence, meaning that they did something wrong or failed to do something to prevent your incident. Negligence consists of a duty to act or not to act, a breach of that duty, and a causal relationship between the duty and your claim and ensuing damages. Proof can be shown through testimony from witnesses, photographs of the scene and other evidence which shows or demonstrates what happened.
Do You Have Sufficient Proof that the Other Party is at Fault?
It is one thing to believe the other party is at fault and quite another to prove it. You will need sufficient proof that the other party was negligent. There are several types of evidence used to prove that the other party is liable – direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence can be derived from the personal testimony of a witness or from photographs and videos. Circumstantial evidence in comparison is not drawn from direct observable facts but rather evidence providing only a basis for inference about the fact in dispute. How a court views the circumstantial evidence depends on the type of case. Courts have formulated special rules that govern proof in specific types of negligence cases.
You Should Work with a Personal Injury Attorney
Once you have decided to pursue a claim the next step is to request a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Many personal injury attorneys including the ones here at Panter, Panter, and Sampedro do not charge for the initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis which means that you do not pay us unless you recover compensation in your case. If you do not prevail you do not owe us anything. During our free consultation we will ask you about your specific situation including information on the incident and insurance coverage to determine if you have a case. Furthermore, keep in mind that the injured party has the burden of proof and must prove that negligence occurred so you can expect your attorney to ask for any evidence or records you have of the incident. If you decide to move forward with filing a claim the attorney should also explain to you what to expect in the subsequent steps, what the rules of the law are, how insurance coverage may impact your claim, and other issues that will affect your case.
Tips to Help Increase Your Odds of Prevailing In Your Personal Injury Claim
The chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit vary because it depends on a number of factors. However, there are steps you can take to help build your case.
Collection of Evidence
Working with a lawyer will help to ensure that you are presenting the best possible proof to support your claim. There are five main types of evidence a lawyer can help you compile: physical evidence, scene or accident evidence, documentation of injuries, witness testimony, and photos and video.
Seek Medical Care and Secure Medical Records
It is important to seek medical care immediately not only to ensure you are treated adequately for your injuries but also to document the injuries appropriately. Documents providing evidence of the injury may include medical records, insurance forms, bills, incident reports, and statements. Other evidence that could be included are pay stubs to prove any loss of wages due to the accident. Evidence that comes from a professional such as a hospital bill or police report strengthens your case. Be sure to preserve this evidence. For instance, documents may be saved on your computer or on a flash drive.
Do Not Delay if You are Seeking Legal Action
Florida limits the amount of time following an accident that the victim has to bring a case to seek compensation. This is known as the Statute of Limitations and it’s different for each type of case. Due to these time limitations it’s crucial that victims act quickly if they plan on filing a personal injury claim.
Avoid Social Media
Anything you post on social media may be used as evidence by the other party in your claim or lawsuit. Most posts will not benefit your case so it’s best to avoid posting anything at all until the claim/lawsuit is concluded. The opposing party will definitely view your social media account and request access to the accounts, so be careful about what your account reveals about you and more importantly, about the incident at issue.
Increase Your Odds of Obtaining a Car Accident Settlement
The odds of winning a car accident settlement are best determined by what you do in the hours and days just after the collision. Immediately call your local police department to report the crash soon as physically possible. The police report compiled by the investigative officer at the scene may be strong evidence used to support your claim. At the scene of the collision take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the other party’s vehicle and the scene of the collision. Take note of the color, make, and model of all vehicles. Speak to an experienced attorney before giving any statements or signing any documents. Call Panter, Panter and Sampedro as soon as possible so that we can assist you. We have the attorneys and the resources to help you after a car accident.
Working with your lawyer to create an effective strategy may increase your odds of winning a car accident settlement. When you complete your treatment, we will prepare a demand package to submit to the insurance company on your behalf. The demand package will provide documentation to support your claim. We will address the liability or fault aspects of your claim and then discuss the damages that you sustained. We will ask you to assist by explaining the nature and extent of any injuries you suffered along with any and all property damages. We will include all income lost as a result of the accident and any and all “pain and suffering”. The demand package will ultimately include a demand for monetary damages for your economic and noneconomic damages. We will then begin negotiations with the other party and hopefully reach an amicable resolution for your claim. If we are unable to amicably resolve your claim, we will discuss the filing of a lawsuit to move forward.
Insurance Companies Prefer to Settle
In general, insurance companies prefer to settle before the lawsuit ever reaches trial. This is partly due to the fact that insurers have the assets to pay out claims and they expect to pay out a certain number of claims a year as part of their business model. Secondly, this allows the insurance company to avoid mounting legal costs and to avoid any negative publicity. Insurance companies will not settle claims unless there is merit to the claim and the resolution is fair and equitable. Panter, Panter & Sampedro has an excellent reputation in the insurance community which helps us to resolve cases. Our Attorneys are Board Certified and capable of trying cases which is known to the insurance companies. This credibility assists us in reaching a better settlement for our clients.
Trials are Unpredictable and difficult to obtain
In today’s environment it is not clear when your case will be able to get to trial. Before Covid trials were difficult to get to due to the busy court system. Now, it is even more difficult to move your case towards trial and it is unlikely that your case will be set for trial in the foreseeable future. With this information all parties know that there is no imminent threat of trial and may use this fact to stall or delay a resolution of your case. As we all learn about how the system will work in the near and distant future, we continue to push our cases forward and do our best to prepare for trial and a resolution short of trial if possible.
Speak with Panter, Panter, and Sampedro About Personal Injury Settlements
We are here to handle your personal injury case. We have been helping our community for more than 30 years in resolving and trying all types of Personal Injury Claims. Automobile accidents, slip and fall claims, medical malpractice and product liability claims are what we do every day. Our ability to work with and for our clients helps us to help you and your family. Contact us with your questions and speak to one of our attorneys directly about your situation. We offer free consultations. We can be reached at (305) 662-6178.