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10 Tips for Maximizing Compensation in Your St. Petersburg Personal Injury Case

10 Tips for Maximizing Compensation in Your St. Petersburg Personal Injury Case

If you suffer an injury that is someone else’s fault, you likely have a valid personal injury claim. If you make an effort to enforce it, you probably have a chance to win it. However, “winning” isn’t enough if the amount you recover fails to fully compensate you for the harm that you suffered. 

How to Increase Settlement Value in Your Personal Injury Case

Most personal injury claims end in settlement, not trial. Here are some tips for maximizing the value of your settlement in St. Petersburg, FL.

Tip #1: Seek Medical Attention Immediately

The best rule to follow is to seek prompt medical attention if your body experiences any impact at all, even if you feel no pain. Some conditions, such as brain injuries and soft tissue damage, take hours or even days to manifest symptoms. 

The legal reasons to seek medical treatment are equally compelling. Medical records provide same-day documentation that links your injuries to the accident so that the insurance company can’t say that the accident isn’t what caused your injuries. Medical documentation is some of the most credible possible evidence in a personal injury case. 

Tip #2: Document Everything

Keep meticulous records of every aspect of your claim, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Accident photos
  • Medical treatment
  • Medications
  • A daily “pain journal” where you document your pain and how your injuries have affected your life

Keep any other evidence that might be relevant. Additionally, do not talk about your case on social media.

Tip #3: Recognize Insurance Company Tactics – and Don’t Fall For Them

The more money the insurance company pays you, the less it gets to keep in profits. That makes the insurance company your adversary while your claim is pending. 

Consequently, insurance providers have various ways of weakening your claim, including:

  • Interviewing you, asking you trick questions, and using your own words against you
  • Sending you a lowball initial offer, hoping that you accept it before you realize how much your claim is worth
  • Spying on your social media accounts and those of your friends to prove that your injuries are not as serious as you say they are
  • Stonewalling you, hoping that you will miss the statute of limitations deadline or cave in and settle for too little

These are just a few tricks the average insurance adjuster has up their sleeve.

Tip #4: Avoid Providing Recorded Statements to Insurance Companies

Never give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. Instead, provide a written statement and have your lawyer review it before sending it to the insurance company. This can help you avoid saying something that could hurt your claim for compensation. 

Tip #5: Use Expert Testimony When Necessary

Expert testimony is among the most credible of all forms of evidence. 

The following types of expert witnesses are commonly consulted in personal injury claims:

  • Medical expert witnesses to prove the severity of your injuries and the extent of any future disability
  • Engineering experts to reconstruct the accident and establish the defendant’s liability
  • Vocational rehabilitation experts to prove any long-term diminished earning capacity that you might be facing
  • Mental health experts to establish the amount of psychological suffering you have endured.

Expert witnesses are almost as useful in settlement negotiations as they are at trial.

Tip #6: Understand Florida Personal Injury Law

You don’t need to be an expert on Florida personal injury law to win—as long as your lawyer is. 

Here are some aspects of Florida law that might affect your claim:

Many other Florida statutes might affect the outcome of your claim.

Tip #7: File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

It seems counterintuitive–why file a lawsuit if your goal is to avoid a trial? But it works sometimes, and it can drastically increase the value of your eventual settlement. 

Filing a lawsuit can help you in the following ways:

  • It can beat the statute of limitations deadline
  • It shows the opposing party you mean business
  • It gives you access to the powerful pre-trial discovery process for gathering evidence

Remember that you can always withdraw your lawsuit in exchange for a generous settlement–and the judge will likely encourage you to do so.

Tip #8: Calculate Your Future Damages

You might have fully recovered before you filed your claim. If not, however, you will need to accurately calculate the value of your future medical expenses. It is critical that you get this right so you don’t run out of money years later.  Don’t be afraid to hire an expert witness to help you.

Tip #9: Don’t Forget About Non-Economic Damages

Believe it or not, non-economic damages, particularly pain and suffering, often make up more than half of the total value of a personal injury claim. Your non-economic damages claim could include compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Tip #10: Negotiate Skillfully

Your negotiation skills bear no relationship to the merits of your claim. Nevertheless, they can drastically affect the outcome. Never forget that insurance adjusters are professional negotiators. That’s okay because experienced personal injury lawyers are also professional negotiators. Let your lawyer negotiate for you while you focus on regaining your health. Only you can authorize a settlement.

Hire an Experienced St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer To Maximize Your Compensation

Tip #11 should be for you to hire an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney. Without one, all of the other tips might prove useless for you. 

Your lawyer can create an individualized case strategy for you, counter insurance company tactics, gather evidence, and assist you in many other ways. Under the contingency fee system that almost all personal injury lawyers use, you won’t owe a dime in legal fees unless you win your case.

Contact the St. Petersburg Personal Injury Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a [RELATED PRACTICE AREA] lawyer in [CITY] today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.

We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 223-6200

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 493-4418

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 314-5988

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 910-5060

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 251-6196

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