If you’ve been injured in California, you may be eligible for compensation from the liable party. Most personal injury claims don’t go to court. Instead, parties often resolve their disputes through private settlements.
However, getting a fair offer for your injuries can be difficult, so you need to work with a lawyer who knows how to increase a settlement value.
Silva Injury Law has helped countless Californians get justice for their injuries. Our firm knows how to hold liable parties accountable and pursue the highest settlements possible for our clients.
1. Gather Strong Evidence
The value of your personal injury claim hinges on the strength of your evidence. Your evidence must establish a clear link between the accident and your injuries.
Your evidence can include:
- Medical records,
- Photographs and videos,
- Witness statements,
- Accident reports,
- Employment records,
- Expert opinions, and
- Property damage estimates.
Try to collect evidence as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more time the other side has to hide or delete records.
2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Medical care can be expensive, especially if you need extensive surgery or treatment. You can demand the liable party pay for any required care. However, you can’t put off seeing a doctor.
Delaying a visit prevents you from getting much-needed care and can complicate the value of your settlement. You need to prove the accident caused your injury, and any gaps between the incident and your visit can raise questions.
3. Keep a Journal of Your Pain and Suffering
Unseen injuries can be some of the most valuable aspects of a settlement. Many victims have severe physical pain and emotional distress due to their accident. While assigning a dollar value to these struggles is difficult, you can keep a record to show how they affect your daily life.
Many victims looking into how to increase a settlement value find success in journaling their experience. Your diary should explain how you feel daily and how your struggles impact your livelihood. Should your case go to trial, a judge or jury can use your journal to understand why you deserve a higher award.
4. Calculate All Damages
You have the right to request compensation for all damages you incur due to the incident. These can include anything that affects your physical, emotional, or financial well-being.
Some common damages you can seek include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Inability to pursue a career,
- Scarring and disfigurement, and
- Loss of enjoyment.
Calculating the total value of your damages can be difficult. Silva Injury Law can help assess your injuries and propose a fair settlement that fully addresses your injuries.
5. Work with Experts
It is often challenging to prove the extent of your damages, especially if you have injuries that require long-term care or cause life-altering consequences. Fortunately, experts can use their professional judgment to agree with your claim and increase the accuracy of your demand.
If you have extensive injuries, a medical doctor can explain how the accident caused the injuries. They can also describe the pain you must endure, the treatment you’ll need, and the costs associated with your care.
Likewise, an accident reconstruction specialist can use advanced modeling to recreate the incident. They can show how the defendant’s actions caused the accident and why you deserve compensation for the damages.
6. Don’t Settle Too Soon
Insurance companies often offer early settlements to victims. While a fast settlement can seem appealing, accepting these offers can hinder your ability to receive fair compensation. Nearly all settlements include a provision that prevents you from taking further legal action. You won’t be able to pursue the defendant for anything else, even if you notice additional damages just one week later.
It’s best to take your time during this process. The insurance company may refuse to increase your settlement, but this is a tactic. Many insurers eventually offer additional compensation as more evidence becomes available and the possibility of trial approaches.
7. Be Prepared to File a Lawsuit
Insurance companies don’t want to go to trial. They want to resolve disputes outside of court because settlements can be less costly and often include privacy provisions. However, the insurance company won’t increase your settlement offer if it thinks you aren’t serious about going to court.
Most cases don’t go to trial, but you need to be ready for that possibility. Ensure you work with an attorney with trial experience who can go the distance with you.
8. Be Careful on Social Media
People use social media to keep friends and family updated on their affairs. However, you should stay away from these platforms while your claim is ongoing.
Attorneys and insurance companies often use social media when investigating claims. They will look for anything that hurts your case to reduce compensation or deny your claim outright.
Don’t mention anything about your lawsuit, medical care, property damage, or anything else involving your claim.
9. File Your Claim Within Two Years
California has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. A court may dismiss your case if you pursue compensation after this deadline. Investigating your case can take months or years, so you must file your claim as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time.
10. Work with an Attorney
You need to work with a personal injury lawyer if you want compensation. They know how to increase a settlement value and will handle your entire legal process.
The attorneys at Silva Injury Law have decades of experience representing victims in California. Our systemic approach helps you get the most money possible for your claim.
While you navigate recovery, your attorney becomes a relentless investigator, looking into every element that strengthens your claim. We’ll dissect police reports, interview witnesses, gather medical records, and analyze accident scene photos. We will find and work with experts or hire private investigators to build an irrefutable timeline of events. This meticulous investigation ensures no evidence goes overlooked, helping you build the best case possible.
Our lawyers have years of experience negotiating with other attorneys and insurance companies. We know the tactics they use to keep settlements low and avoid liability. Fortunately, we also understand how to increase a personal injury settlement using the evidence and the law. You can count on us to fight for you, and we’ll never suggest accepting a settlement unless it’s the best option available.
Sometimes, negotiation doesn’t lead to a fair settlement. Our firm is ready to take your case to court to advocate for your rights in these cases. We’ll craft and present evidence, examine witnesses, and explain the full extent of your damages. While this may sound stressful, you can trust our attorneys to handle everything for you so you can focus on recovering.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
Now that you know how to increase a personal injury settlement, work with the professionals at Silva Injury Law. Our team has recovered millions for our clients, and we can help you seek the highest value for your claim. Call today at (209) 600-4389 to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation.