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How to Get the Best Personal Injury Settlement Possible

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When you've been hurt in an accident, the initial settlement offered by the insurance carrier may not be enough to pay for all your medical bills. If you want to get the best personal injury settlement possible, check out these five tips.

1. Seek Medical Treatment ASAP

After your accident, you need to act fast, and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If necessary, head to the hospital directly after the accident or even call an ambulance.This can do a lot to show that the injury was so severe, you needed emergency treatment. If you don't head to the ER right away, visit your doctor as soon as you can. Discuss the accident, your injury, and a treatment plan. Make sure you continue seeing your doctor and following a treatment plan. Failing to do so will make it seem your injury isn't as severe as you claim.

2. Disclose Previous Injuries

Many people have been injured before, and a new accident may re-injure or aggravate a pre-existing condition. Even if you aren't sure the two are related, you need to disclose the previous injury to your lawyer and doctor. If anyone finds out you were hiding this information, it could reflect poorly on you. Having a pre-existing condition shouldn't prevent you from getting a settlement on your new injury. For example, in California, the law states that even if the accident worsened an existing condition, you should still get a settlement for the new injury.

3. Gather Evidence

As the person seeking a settlement, you are the plaintiff, so it's up to you and your lawyer to prove you have an injury and the defendant caused the injury. Therefore, it's important for you to gather as much evidence as possible. Take photographs of where the accident occurred and of your injuries. Talk to witnesses and anyone else who may have relevant information. Don't forget to report the accident. If it was an auto accident, report the accident to the police. If you were injured on someone's property, report it to the property owner. Gather all relevant medical charts and doctor notes.

4. Avoid Talking to the At-Fault Driver and Their Insurance Company

You shouldn't (and don't have to) speak with the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Let your attorney handle that for you. Even a casual conversation may end up giving them information to destroy your case. If you do speak to them for some reason, do not agree to a written or recorded statement, which can be misinterpreted and used against you. Lastly, if the insurance company asks you to sign something, don't. Wait to speak with your lawyer about any releases or documents before you sign them. You may end up signing something that prevents you from filing a personal injury claim.

5. Make Your Social Media Accounts Private

Social media is a fun way to communicate with friends and even people you don't know, but it can destroy your personal injury case, and the defense will search your social media accounts for anything they can use against you. Even statements and photos that seem innocent could be used to make your injury seem less than serious. For example, a picture of you out on the town with your friends can be used to argue you are healthy enough to still enjoy life. Make sure to make all your social media accounts private, but it would be best to avoid any social media activity completely.

A personal injury settlement is instrumental in helping you recovery financially after an accident. It can help pay for your medical bills and ongoing treatments. Make sure you get the maximum amount you deserve by following these five tips. For more information about personal injury settlements, contact an accident attorney in your area today, such as one from Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake LLP.