Five Tips for Maximizing Your Indiana Personal Injury Settlement
Five Tips for Maximizing Your Indiana Personal Injury Settlement If you are about to enter negotiations with your insurance company, there are several ways to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your Indiana personal injury settlement. For the most part, it all comes down to establishing liability and presenting a considerable amount of evidence regarding the actual value of your case. However, doing this all on your own is challenging. To maximize your Indiana personal injury settlement, you’ll need the counsel of a skilled Indiana injury attorney.
If you’ve been injured and would like to file a personal injury claim in Indiana, contact the Indianapolis injury attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our team can help you estimate your total case value, based on property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, and other factors. If you choose to let us advocate for you, we will compile an exhaustive amount of evidence to build a strong case and then negotiate directly with your insurance company to ensure you are getting the compensation that you deserve.
Don’t delay. The evidence we could use to make your case could be lost. Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at (317) 455-4043 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Proving Fault and Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Before you can recover damages and maximize your Indiana personal injury settlement, you must first establish that (a) the defendant was at fault in causing your injuries; and (b) prove the damages that you have sustained from their misconduct. When it comes to establishing fault, your Indiana personal injury attorney will aim to demonstrate that the defendant’s intentional or negligent actions caused your injuries, as well as any other losses, like damage to a car or other property.
Once the fault has been established, the two opposing parties may begin to negotiate a settlement. However, before that happens, your attorney will need to prove and place value on the damages that you’ve sustained as a result of the defendant’s actions. To do this, you will need to provide a sizeable amount of evidence pertaining to the accident, the injury, your medical treatment, and the various negative impacts the injury has had on your day-to-day life.
When making a personal injury claim in Indiana, there are several actions you can take to ensure that you’re putting yourself in the best position possible to receive compensation for all of the damages you’ve sustained. This includes seeking medical treatment immediately after your injury, collecting and preserving evidence, filing your claim as soon as possible, including the past, present, and future damages, and only accepting the full value of your claim. This article will address each of these actions in full detail and provide you with a strong understanding of what’s required to maximize your Indiana personal injury settlement. However, there is no substitute for utilizing the services of a trained Indiana personal injury attorney. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to personal injury claims, and a skilled attorney can tailor their legal strategy to the specific circumstances of your case.
Tip 1 – Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
If you’ve sustained an injury caused by someone else’s actions or negligence, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. This may seem logical, as you are hurt and need help, but it’s also important because it creates a valuable piece of evidence. When you seek medical treatment following an injury, your medical provider will document some information that could be vital to your case later in the process, including your account of the accident, the date and time of your visit, and most importantly, a professional assessment regarding the extent of your injuries.
When you receive medical treatment, you should also ask the attending medical professional what steps are required next. If possible, have them create a written or typed document outlining the medical care and assistance you’ll require in the near and distant future.
Example Questions to Ask Your Medical Professional:
- Is rehab or surgery required?
- What long-term disabilities might arise from your injury?
- What medications will you need and for how long?
- How long will you need to recover?
- What sort of assistance will you need at home?
- When can you return to work?
Tip 2 – File Your Personal Injury Claim ASAP
After seeking medical attention, you should promptly contact your insurance company. You’ll need to submit an insurance claim to both your insurance and the insurance company of those responsible for your injury. Although your personal injury claim in Indiana is not a lawsuit yet, it would be wise to have a lawyer at this point. Keffer Hirschauer LLP has a very skilled team of Indiana personal injury lawyers that would be glad to speak with the insurance companies on your behalf. They will protect your interests and help you understand everything that is happening and how to best settle your personal injury case in Indiana.
Tip 3 – Collect and Preserve Evidence
Possessing a strong, comprehensive body of evidence is one of the most impactful ways to maximize your Indiana personal injury settlement. Once you’ve filed your claim, you should work on collecting and preserving as much evidence as possible regarding both the accident and the injury. If you don’t feel up to doing this kind of work, you can ask a loved one to help you or retain the services of an Indiana personal injury attorney, if you haven’t done so already.
Example Evidence to Collect and Preserve:
- Photographs from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police records of the accident
- Photographs of your injuries
- Medical records
- Medical receipts for expenses
- Proof of lost wages
- Testimony from family or friends about changes to daily life
- Testimony from counselors or psychological professionals
Tip 4 – Include Past, Present, and Future Damages
Remember that tip from early that said to ask your doctor about the next steps? Any documentation provided from that discussion, or subsequent medical care, will be useful when determining the extent of your damages in the past, present, and future. It’s important to keep in mind that you can seek compensation for various types of other economic and noneconomic damages suffered as part of your injury too. These could be medical damages, loss of income, loss of future income, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. However, you’ll need to provide your injury attorney with extensive documentation, and possibly, testimony to prove some categories of noneconomic damage.
Medical damages can be supported through valid medical documentation related to your personal injury claim in Indiana. This includes medical records for injury-related treatment, prognosis documentation, any medical or therapy bills incurred from the accident, as well as projected costs of future care.
Loss of Income
Damages for loss of income resulting from personal injury will require proof of disability from a doctor, as well as proof of your compensation levels before and after the accident. This evidence may come in the form of the previous tax year’s W2 form, pay stubs, or wage verification from your employer.
Loss of Future Income
Proving loss of future income can be difficult. However, it’s not impossible. Typically, loss of future income is proven by using your past income as a benchmark. Your attorney may also call upon former co-workers and employers to testify to your work ethic, performance, and professional goals. This helps build a case for the level of compensation you could have received in the future, had you been able to stay on the same career trajectory.
Pain and Suffering
Proving pain or suffering, or loss of quality of life, in a personal injury case is not as simple as providing an x-ray or medical bill. It’s an injury that is often more abstract. Therefore demonstrating and calculating damages for pain and suffering can be more challenging. An experienced personal injury lawyer would seek to illustrate how the plaintiff’s life has been dramatically altered due to the event that caused the injury. This may be achieved by providing testimony from family or friends, or mental health professionals who can attest to the plaintiff’s mental state.
Loss of Consortium
In Indiana, not only can an injured person seek compensation for damages relating to a personal injury, but their spouse can too. This is called a “loss of consortium,” claim, and it is used to compensate a spouse for the loss of love, care, affection, support, and intimacy, including sexual intimacy. Demonstrating a loss of consortium may require testimony from both spouses, as well as family and friends who can attest to the fact that your relationship has changed for the worse since the accident or injury.
Tip 5 – Only Accept the Full Value of Your Claim
If the responsible party’s insurance company believes that you have a valid claim, they typically will offer you a small amount of money as a settlement. Most of the time, however, original settlement offers are far below the fair value of your injuries. Their goal is to entice you with a dollar amount that would make you happy in the present and prevent you from filing a lawsuit.
If you have an experienced personal injury attorney as your advocate, you likely will be advised to not accept this initial settlement. You deserve maximum compensation for everything you’ve gone through because of this injury. Therefore, your attorney may propose moving the process into alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or taking the plaintiff to court to present your argument and provide evidence of your claim in front of a judge and jury.
Injured in Indiana? Keffer Hirschauer LLP is Here For You.
Moving from settlement negotiations to more serious stages of a personal injury case may seem intimidating, but you would be in good hands with a skilled personal injury attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our attorneys have successfully proven some of the most challenging, serious personal injury cases. We will stand by your side throughout the entire process and make sure that you’re maximizing your Indiana personal injury settlement. If you’d like to speak with a member of our team today, call us at (317) 455-4043 for a free consultation or complete our online contact form.