There is no single silver bullet that automatically ensures you get the most money out of your insurance claim. Instead, you can help maximize your options by keeping records, knowing the terms of your policy, and not accepting an initial settlement offer. A personal injury lawyer can also assist you in negotiating a fair settlement.
Start by Protecting Your Right to Compensation in an Insurance Claim
You may feel at the whim of the adjuster’s judgment, but your actions can influence your claim. In fact, a major component of maximizing potential compensation is taking the appropriate steps after an accident.
Too many accident victims lose out on possible money from their claims because they make easy-to-avoid mistakes. To help protect your options, act promptly, maintain records, and arm yourself with knowledge about your situation.
You can put yourself on better footing from the start of your case by taking action immediately. This includes:
- Receiving prompt medical care
- Reporting an accident to the authorities
- Contacting your insurance company
- Documenting your case
Given the high cost of medical care, money worries could make you hesitate to get an examination at the doctor’s office. This could ultimately cost you more—delaying care can look to insurance adjusters like you did not suffer a serious injury or any injury at all. Protect your health by seeing a doctor, and protect your compensation by creating immediate records of your injury.
Timely accident reporting can also bolster your claim. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, notifying the police creates a record of the accident and helps preserve evidence. With any accident, letting your insurer know helps establish your character and preserves your opportunity to pursue compensation.
Don’t delay in gathering evidence, either. You can document your case from the moment it happens if you can. Take photos, get witnesses’ contact information, and write down what you remember of what happened.
Create, Obtain, and Keep Records
Insurance claims hinge on paperwork. Use that to your advantage. Maintain records of everything related to your accident, including:
- Doctor visits
- X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging
- Treatment plans and notes
- Employment records
- Lost income
- Records related to damaged property
- Promises made by adjusters
- Timeline of events
Insurance adjusters keep track of what you say, often in the hope of finding ways to avoid paying you. You can employ the same strategy by noting all the information they provide. Write down the adjuster’s name and contact info and keep a record of any promises they make.
For injuries, records of bills and specific diagnoses can help maintain accuracy. For example, HealthCare.gov reports that a three-day hospital stay is estimated at $30,000. However, that can depend on the injury. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations have been shown to cost 74 percent more than non-TBI inpatient stays.
Insurance companies like to work in generalities but getting the most money from your insurance claim means insisting on specificity.
Understand Your Losses to Recognize a Proper Insurance Settlement Offer
Settlement offers are negotiable. When considering an offer, also consider your:
- Past and future medical losses
- Past and future lost income
- Past and future pain and suffering
The keywords? Past and future. Some companies try to pay the minimum of your past losses and avoid paying future losses. If a settlement offer doesn’t include consideration for future consequences of your injury, you can counteroffer.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney for More Info About Your Insurance Claim
If keeping track of important records or negotiating with an adjuster sounds intimidating, you can enlist the help of one of our lawyers. We can:
- Investigate your case to gather evidence that supports your request for compensation
- Represent you in interactions with adjusters and other attorneys
- Review and explain your policy terms and any laws that apply
- Analyze settlement offers and negotiate terms that include past and future losses
- Recognize common pitfalls and possible opportunities to maximize compensation
Get Help Filing a Lawsuit
You don’t have to wait until there is an issue with your insurance claim to file a lawsuit. We can file concurrently to demonstrate how serious we are about getting you compensation. Negotiations can continue throughout the insurance claim and lawsuit process to potentially settle the case.
Getting the Most Money From an Insurance Claim Starts With Getting Information
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your possible settlement is to understand your position. Gather as much information as possible about the accident, your insurance coverage, the other parties, and your losses. If you’re at all overwhelmed, have questions, or want personalized answers about maximizing your compensation, contact the team at Shulman & Hill at 866.932.5558 today.