Starting the personal injury claims process can seem daunting and confusing. Many of us have heard the stories of legitimate claims being denied or taking extended periods of time to finally settle. The fact of the matter is every accident is different and so is every personal injury case.
Remember that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Our team of skilled Oxnard personal injury attorneys are here to help tip the scales in your favor. Our priority is helping you maximize the compensation you get out of your personal injury case. Don’t be fooled - the insurance company is not on your side, but we are. In our experience, those who follow these essential steps have the best odds at walking away with the most money in their pockets.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Winning your personal injury case involves proving that your injuries and losses were a direct result of the accident at hand. This involves getting an accurate picture of what your damages are. To do this, always seek medical treatment immediately after your accident. Your healthcare providers will be able to document your injuries, give you a proper diagnosis, and develop your treatment plan moving forward.
Always remember that medical treatment is necessary, even if you believe you are not injured. Some injuries do not show symptoms immediately; if you wait for an extended period of time to seek medical treatment, the insurance company may try to prove that your injuries did not actually result from the accident.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The odds are that this is probably your first personal injury claim. Even if it’s not, there are many nuances to the process that can be hard to navigate on your own.
The insurance adjuster investigating your claim does this for a living. Most are typically very good at what they do. They know the ins and outs of the personal injury claims process from their side and will be looking at the evidence in order to prove their side of what happened.
You want someone who is equally as knowledgeable of the claims process to be on your side. An experienced personal injury attorney has insight into the claims process and the tactics that the adjuster will attempt to use to deny your claim.
Gather Your Own Evidence
The insurance company will most likely launch a very detailed investigation into the cause of your accident. They will do this in order to show that their policyholder was not at fault so they won’t have to pay for your damages.
You should not rely on the evidence from the insurance company to prove your case. Instead, make sure to gather your own evidence that can be used to prove your injuries, including:
Photos of the accident
Witness contact information and statements
Medical records, including recommended treatment plans
Your personal injury attorney will be able to compare your evidence with the evidence of the insurance company and determine if there are any discrepancies between the two.
Value Your Entire Claim
Calculating your total medical bills and treatment plans can be pretty straightforward. However, the insurance company will probably not value the entirety of your claim. In addition to medical bills, you may also be entitled to compensation for:
Future medical bills
Ongoing medical treatment
Lost and future lost wages
Pain and suffering
With the help of your personal injury attorney, you will be able to calculate additional damages and request the compensation you need to heal both physically and emotionally.
Do Not Jump At the First Settlement Offer
It can be exciting when the insurance company agrees to pay you compensation and offers you a settlement, right? Well, not necessarily. In fact, many times, the first settlement they offer you will not be the full amount you are entitled to. And, let’s face it, without knowing your entire claim value, you might just take the first offer. Remember, as soon as you sign the agreement and cash the check, you potentially lose the opportunity to walk away with more money in your pocket.
As your legal advocate, your personal injury attorney will advise you whether to take an insurance settlement or whether you are entitled to more compensation. They will act as your advocate and request a higher settlement. If the insurance company refuses to budge, your attorney should be prepared to effectively protect your rights in court.
Contact The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood
The legal advocates at The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood are dedicated to helping injury victims receive the full and fair compensation they need to heal. For the past 46 years, we have made a name for ourselves as effective personal injury attorneys in Southern California. Whatever the circumstances of your injury, The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood is prepared to stand in your corner and advocate for you every step of the way.
Let us put our decades of experience to work for you. Contact our firm at (805) 250-0570 to schedule a free consultation with an Oxnard personal injury attorney.