Personal injury lawyers see cases every day and most of the questions heard from clients are about how to get the highest settlement. Certain actions you take or do not take can have a tremendous impact on your financial reward. Depending on the extent of your injuries, personal injury settlements can average from tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars.
Some of the biggest claims ever paid out include the Tobacco Master Settlement which paid out a whopping 206 million dollars when 46 American states got together to sue the country’s four biggest tobacco companies. Other large awards include the $4.9 billion dollar General Motors settlement involving a family that was struck by a drunk driver. The impact caused the fuel tank to catch on fire and killed six members of a family. In yet another motor vehicle-related crash, after a bus accident in New York City, Gloria Aguilar was awarded $27.5 million after her leg had to be amputated. Personal injury cases are common in accidents and also, in the workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data on injuries and illnesses in the workplace yearly and the numbers are substantial.
Maximizing Your Payout
Hopefully, you have not suffered the kind of trauma that would lead to these types of settlements but if you have been injured at the hands of a large corporation or even an individual, you may be entitled to a high payout. The most important step to take is to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident. Evidence collection and preservation, witness gathering, medical treatment advice and communication with insurance companies is best left to a professional. Research shows that individuals who pursue cases on their own have a much lower payout than those that hire a qualified attorney.
Important Steps to Follow
If you are injured at work, the usual protocol is to go to the emergency room or a walk-in clinic for an evaluation rather than to your personal physician. The ER doctor will be unbiased and the fact that you visited the emergency room underlies the fact that you are indeed in extreme distress. It is important to never mention to to a physician that you are seeing them on the advice of an attorney because this could be noted in medical records and lower the payout you receive.
It is also important that the doctor treat everything and not ignore any of your symptoms. That is because each symptom adds value to your claim so don’t ignore tingling, headaches, dizziness, numbness or radiating pain as these can all lead to long-term disability and therefore long-term compensation.
You will also want to avoid the temptation to take pain medication and ignore your symptoms. Instead of just treating underlying symptoms, treat your actual injuries. Some treatments like surgery and physical therapy may raise the value of your case.
Patience is Key
During this time, make sure you provide your personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas with any information or evidence that is needed and avoid social media. Insurance companies may use your social media posts as evidence against you. On the other hand, keep friends and family that can bear witness to your pain close by.
Personal injury lawsuits are a long-term race, not a sprint. Patience will be needed to be ultimately successful. Sometimes these cases can go on for more than a year, especially those with a larger-than-average potential settlement. Many others are settled out of court before the trial date. An experienced attorney will know when to push forward to get the maximum settlement possible.