What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Claims
A personal injury lawsuit can certainly be a stressful experience filled with uncertainty and questions about the best course of action and the best manner to proceed. That’s especially true if you’re an aging senior citizen who has been involved in an accident in the retirement community of The Villages in Florida. As a highly recommended The Villages personal injury law firm, Whittel & Melton is dedicated to ensuring your personal injury lawsuit goes as smoothly as possible. Our attorneys focus on providing highly efficient counsel that aims to address any fears or concerns related to your claim. Before you get started, take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions associated with personal injury lawsuits.How Do I Ensure my Personal Injury Claim is Successful?
There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your personal injury claim is successful and that you are awarded the maximum amount of damages for your claim.Be Vigilant at the Scene of the Accident
Don’t underestimate the power of evidence you can gather on your own behalf. Immediately following an accident - assuming all of your immediate injuries have already been addressed - you should collect as much information as possible from the parties involved. Gather names and contact information, record license plate and driver’s license numbers, request insurance information and make sure to obtain the police report from responding law enforcement. Be careful to obtain contact information for any witnesses to the accident, and watch what you say about how you’re feeling or who caused the accident. Be aware of yourself while taking care to obtain information from the other parties involved.Go to the Doctor
Getting treated for your injuries is the first and most important step to recover damages because the court will determine how much to award you based on the extent of the medical expenses you incurred as a result of your injuries. Even if you do not believe your injuries are significant enough to warrant medical care, you should speak to a doctor regardless because sometimes, injuries are invisible to an untrained professional. After you’ve consulted a physician, it’s important to listen to whatever the doctor tells you to do - make sure you fill their prescriptions or take time to rest or undergo physical therapy if that’s what the doctor has ordered. Failing to do so may cause the insurance company to suggest that your injuries were not sufficiently mitigated by the prescribed medical treatment, resulting in the reduction of the amount of damages owed to you.Track How the Injury Has Affected You
Undoubtedly suffering a significant personal injury will upend your life in ways large and small. Particularly if you were a once-active senior living in The Villages and taking full advantage of its various amenities and activities, this loss of enjoyment can be quite significant and even life-altering depending on the extent of the injuries you incurred. It’s important to keep track of how your injury is affecting you by keeping a daily journal that details how you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing, and what you had to miss out on due to the injuries you’ve suffered. This could also include hiring help around the house, making alternative travel arrangements, business or employment consequences due to your injury. Every case is unique and you deserve a lawyer who will think creatively and act aggressively and ethically on your behalf.Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm Who is Familiar With The Villages
You may be wondering how an attorney in The Villages can benefit your case when you’ve already gone through the trouble of seeing a doctor, obtaining and retaining evidence, and contacting the insurance company offering coverage to the at-fault party. However, hiring an experienced The Villages personal injury law firm to navigate your case will more than likely result in a far greater advantage in settlement negotiations, and will additionally alleviate the burden of negotiating these claims yourself. While you may consider yourself a savvy opponent, insurance firms have decades of experience negating claims, and will treat every interaction with you as one in which they can take advantage of your lack of experience. Working with an attorney who understands the typical legal processes involved will better position you for success.Stay Out of the Limelight and Off Social Media
While we are quite used to posting about our daily lives on social media, it’s important to stay out of the spotlight for awhile in case opposing counsel attempts to use any social media posts against you. Instead, be a passive observer of others on social media and refrain from offering a window into your life while your case is ongoing.How Do I Deal With the Insurance Company?
Unfortunately, insurance companies will try to derail your case by hiring an insurance adjuster trained to protect the insurance company at all costs. While most insurance adjusters do have an interest in settling your claim fairly, they are ultimately hired to serve the insurance company first and foremost. Oftentimes, this means that your adjuster will aim to gather information that puts you at an unfair advantage in dealing with your claim.
Forwarding any and all inquiries to your personal injury attorney at our The Villages personal injury law firm can prove beneficial when navigating your relationship with the insurance company and its adjuster. You can similarly take the following steps to ensure you are well-positioned for a successful outcome.
- Avoid making recorded statements: Usually, an insurance adjuster will ask key questions related to your accident or injury. It’s important to first confirm that they are in fact taking a recorded statement and additionally, you must watch what you say. Anything you say on a recording can be used against you later, so be sure to answer their questions in a succinct and straightforward manner.
- Don’t accept a quick settlement offer: You may be inclined to put an end to the stress and uncertainty of pursuing a legal claim when the insurance company offers you a settlement. Instead, contact your attorney and review the proposal with them before you make any hasty decisions. Usually, The Villages personal injury law firm will be able to negotiate for far more.
- Don’t accept any discounts: If the insurance company is offering to adjust your medical bills, it is simply a tactic to reduce the company’s total damages award and negotiate a more favorable settlement. If they make any allusions that your treatment was excessive or unreasonable, refer them to your personal injury attorney.
Considering pursuing a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for a recent accident? Contact The Villages personal injury law firm of Whittel & Melton today.