What Can I Do to Strengthen My Personal Injury Claim?
If you are recovering from serious injuries, the associated costs are probably adding up fast. Fortunately, if another party was liable for the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
While there’s no way to guarantee a personal injury claim will yield a payout, there are steps you can take from day one to give your case the best chance of success. Such steps include:
- Keeping a personal injury journal;
- Staying off social media;
- Tracking damages;
- Referring relevant correspondence to your personal injury attorney; and
- Following your doctor’s orders.
Let’s take a closer look at each step so you know how to build the strongest claim possible:
1. Keeping a Personal Injury Journal
Detailed journal entries will contextualize the extent of your injuries. Write about the ways in which your condition is harming your overall quality of life by discussing the hurdles you now face on a day-to-day basis. This will be especially helpful when it comes time to prove non-economic damages like depression, anxiety, and mental anguish.
2. Staying off Social Media
You should assume that the insurance adjuster will monitor your online activity for signs that you are exaggerating your injuries, deviating from your doctor’s orders, or making other mistakes that can be referenced to dispute your claim. As such, it’s advisable to stay off social media until your case has been resolved.
3. Tracking Damages
In order to recover compensation, you must prove that you did, in fact, incur damages. You can do so by supplying relevant bills, invoices, receipts, and paystubs.
In South Dakota, economic damages that might be recoverable include:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Property repairs;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Replacement services; and
- Home care.
4. Referring Relevant Correspondence to Your Legal Team
Seasoned personal injury lawyers know how to correspond with both defendants and insurance adjusters without jeopardizing their client’s best interests. They won’t inadvertently implicate their client as partially liable, for example. For this reason, accident victims are encouraged to direct all calls and emails to their legal team.
5. Following Your Doctor’s Orders
If you fail to mitigate damages, the opposing party may argue that you are partially to blame for the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages. Seeking prompt medical care is the first step to mitigating damages, and following all doctor’s orders once you do is the second.
That means attending all scheduled appointments including diagnostic exams, surgical consultations, and physical therapy sessions. It also means abiding by any instructions you receive such as staying home from work and avoiding lifting heavy objects.
Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Rapid City
If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, turn to Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our resourceful team has recovered more than $15 million in successful settlements and trial verdicts. Call 605-721-2800 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Rapid City.
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