Hurt in an auto accident in the Providence, Rhode Island area?
Serious injuries from car accidents can be devastating and the costly damages can be overwhelming. Your car needs costly repairs, medical bills are starting to pile up, and you’re probably dealing with lost wages if your injuries prohibit you from working.
If your car crash was due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be made whole again, and the at-fault party is obligated to pay up. However, people in your situation often wonder, ‘what can I do to maximize my car accident settlement?’
The truth is, there are some things you can do to increase that settlement amount, and an experienced car accident lawyer can help you maximize your car accident settlement.
Factors That Affect Settlement Amounts for a Personal Injury Claim
In any personal injury claim related to Rhode Island car accidents, there are many factors that can affect your specific settlement amount – whether they increase it or decrease it:
- Amount of time you lost at work
- Number and severity of your injuries
- How long you were in pain
- Intensity of the pain and suffering you experienced
- Any pre-existing medical conditions you have
- What percentage of fault you share for the car accident (Rhode Island uses a “pure comparative fault” model)
- Car insurance policy limits
How to Maximize the Settlement for Your Rhode Island Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been hurt or experienced loss after a car accident, here are some ways to maximize your personal injury settlement. Following these ten steps can help ensure you get all the financial compensation you’re entitled to for your auto accident.
1. Collect Evidence and Pertinent Information
Try to collect as much evidence and info as possible while you’re at the scene of the accident.
Possible evidence in a car accident case includes:
- Photos and video of the accident scene, the damage to vehicles, and any visible injuries
- Contact information of all drivers involved
- Statements and contact information of any witnesses or passengers
Note that calling the police is the best way to ensure evidence is documented properly by the authorities, but you should also collect your own proof if you feel the other driver was at fault.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of whether you sustained major or minor injuries, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare professional will record all of your injuries and compile them in your medical records. These records can be used in your personal injury case to support your car accident claims.
It’s also important to follow the doctor’s orders for treatment so that you can say that you did your part in advancing your own recovery.
3. Record Your Pain and Suffering
During your recovery process, document any physical, emotional, or mental pain you’ve experienced. For example, if the accident caused you mental distress, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, write about it in great detail. You can also record any trauma you’ve dealt with due to the accident.
This will aid you in receiving fair compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
4. Get a Copy of the Police Report
When the police arrive at the accident, get their names and badge numbers. You can use this information to get a copy of the police report later. A police report can be used as evidence to show how the other driver was responsible for the accident.
5. Estimate Future Damages
Try to estimate any possible future costs you’ll incur as a result of the accident. For example, if your injuries are long-term or permanent, then you can account for all your doctor appointments, tests, and other medical expenses you’ll have to pay in your claim. The greater the damages you have, the higher your settlement amount will likely be.
6. Remember Rhode Island’s Statute of Limitations
Don’t forget to file a claim and don’t put off taking legal action for too long. According to Rhode Island personal injury law, a legal action – like a car accident lawsuit – must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. A statute of limitations is the state’s deadline for seeking legal compensation after an accident.
In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for personal injury accidents is three years.
7. Don’t Talk to the Other Insurance Company
An insurance adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company will more than likely call you in the days or weeks following your motor vehicle accident. The insurance company is a business, so their goal is to nullify or diminish your claim to save themselves money. They may do this by trying to get a recorded statement where you admit fault for the accident or minimize your injuries.
Remember, you don’t have to talk to the insurance company. If they try to get more information out of you, politely decline to respond.
8. Don’t Take the First Offer
The other insurance company will usually make a low first offer for a settlement. Again, their goal is to pay you as little as possible, which is why you should deny their first settlement amount. You can even reject their second and third claim if they’re too low.
After you deny the lowball offer, explain to the insurance company why you’re rejecting it. You want to convince them that you have a strong case, so record why their offer isn’t enough to cover the full extent of your personal injuries or damages. The rejection also proves that you’re serious about maximizing your settlement.
9. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
At this point, it’s best to get an experienced car accident attorney involved. We’ll be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and get you a fair settlement offer.
A reliable personal injury lawyer is dedicated to getting you maximum compensation for your claim. They’ll compile evidence and build a strong case for you.
Get Help From a Providence Car Accident Lawyer
Providence car accident lawyers offer the best way to maximize your settlement amount, and Louis W. Grande Injury law firm will help you achieve your desired case results. We’ll fight by your side to ensure you receive justice for the car accident injuries and damages you’ve incurred.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car accident in Providence, Rhode Island, call Louis W. Grande, an experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer.
At your free consultation, we’ll review your case and help you decide the course of action that best benefits you.