How To Get The Most From Personal Injury Settlements

Being hurt sucks, and it sucks even more when it's someone else's fault.  That is why personal injury settlements are paid.  They pay you back for damages, medical bills, and a slew of other things.  Not all settlements are the same, and it's very hard to calculate the average personal injury settlement.  It's a tug of war between you and their insurance company because you want the most possible amount of money and their insurance want to pay the least.

There are a few things that can help you maximize your personal injury lawsuit settlement.  You may be thinking things like limping in court and turning on the water-works in front of the judge, these may help but there are a few more common sense things that will help you maximize your settlement.  When you're hurt, the last thing you want to do is deal with attorneys and judges but sometimes these are necessary to get the most that you can.

Let's take a look at a few ways to get the most from personal injury settlements.

Image courtesy of Aaron_M via flickr.
Image courtesy of Aaron_M via flickr.

Hire A Lawyer

If you intend on getting the most cash from your personal injury settlement you need a lawyer.  Lawyer's fees usually range from 30-40% (the max here in California is 40%).  Having a good lawyer on your side will dramatically increase your settlement.  The more you get paid, the more they get paid.

The secondary benefit of having legal representation is that they do the difficult work for you.  If you are down with a bad back or can't walk, it will be very difficult to frequently maneuver yourself back and forth between home and court.  They will do most of the leg work for you.  Also, lawyers will take care of most of the paperwork and legal mumbo-jumbo that the average layperson does not know how to successfully do.  

You might be thinking that these things don't add up paying 40% for a lawyer, but the final outcome is well worth it.

$3M Personal Injury Settlement!!

Take Copious Notes

All throughout the process from accident to settlement keep records of everything.  Give these notes to your lawyer so that they can see if anything in there can help your case out.  Maybe the doctor said something wacky, or the claims adjuster was a jerk-note these things down and they may help your personal injury settlement amount.  

Also make sure that you get a copy of any documentation or paperwork that's passed around during the settlement process.  Ask for a copy of everything, especially anything from the other insurance company.  There may be things in there that can help your case out.

Don't Be A Jerk

It's very understandable to be upset when you're injured and an insurance company is standing between you and paid medical bills, but being difficult and hostile will only bog things down.  If the claims adjuster is a jerk, jot it down in your notes but don't retaliate.  When you're cordial (you certainly don't have to be nice) their insurance company is much more likely to give you what you want, rather than fighting with them every move they make.  Save the fighting for your lawyer, it's their job.

Being hurt is certainly difficult, but by following these steps you are much more likely to receive fair compensation for the damages.

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Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

I handled my own claim up to a point, and the at fault side has paid well, but settlement offer was a joke so I went to a lawyer. But what you said about "don't be a jerk" is 100% correct. No one works well with someone who's a jerk.. either side. Treat them with respect and it will move some mountains, but not all!!

Thank you, excellent hub!

The Empire profile image

The Empire 7 years ago from Napa, CA Author

@Candie V - Well put. Thanks for the great comment!

scheng1 6 years ago

Like the advice of "dont be a jerk", after all, the individual may be the direct or indirect cause of the accident

Kris 6 years ago

That is very helpful post. Thanks

nicolegray823 profile image

nicolegray823 3 years ago from Covington

Not all people knows about what they could get from a personal injury claim, some may only be aware that they could file a claim and get a well experienced lawyer but some may not be aware of how much they could get from the claim. This article is very helpful, people who may have obtained personal injuries could really make use of this, thank you so much, another help extended to mankind.

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