Considerations for Reaching a Personal Injury Claim
Injury victims have the legal right to pursue a personal injury claim settlement against the parties liable for the accident. Consider the following eight items when pursuing a settlement for your claim. A personal injury lawyer in Miami at Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help build your claim to pursue fair compensation for your damages.
1. Gather the Facts and Documentation
Compile a folder with all the information needed to pursue your claim including:
- personal information of the other party;
- insurance information;
- a police report; and
- contact information of any witnesses.
You should also include receipts and proof of medical expenses and records, vehicle damage and pay stubs showing lost wages. The more information you have readily available, the more leverage you and your personal injury lawyer in Miami may have when pursuing a personal injury claim settlement.
2. Know Who and What is Covered
Even if you are sure you are covered by a policy, it helps to double-check. A closer look at your auto insurance may show that this type of accident is not covered, for example. In some cases, a lawyer may review your case and inform you that you are partially liable for your injuries, which can affect your claim.
3. Don’t Settle Right Away
Many accident victims feel the need to settle quickly and move on with life. However, settling right away may negatively impact your recovery of fair compensation. Insurance companies aren’t in business to part with money.
They may offer a lowball settlement in hopes that you will accept it. However, medical problems can crop up weeks or months after a car accident and it can be difficult to gauge the full value of your damages so soon after a serious accident. Wait until your Fort Myers personal injury lawyer advises you to settle.
4. Calculate a Fair Personal Injury Settlement
You and your attorney should come up with a dollar amount you hope to recover in the personal injury claim settlement. Come up with a minimum amount that you would accept, too. Try to negotiate with the insurance company outside of court to arrive at a settlement that meets your needs.
5. Tax Ramifications
Many people may not be aware of this, but a personal injury claim settlement may be taxable. For example, you will be required to pay taxes on settlements involving punitive damages, mental anguish and interest earned on lump-sum settlements. Be aware of this when settling because it could mean that you may not receive as much money as you thought.
6. Legal Fees
Along the same lines, keep in mind that legal fees will also be taken out of any personal injury claim settlement you receive. The amount you will need to pay depends on the lawyer’s fees and pay structure. Be aware of the pay structure and fees ahead of time to avoid any surprises.
Healthcare providers may place liens on the settlement amount in order to recover their fees for treating the patient. Car insurance companies and state and city entities can also place liens to recover costs the victim was unable to pay before the settlement.
8. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
A Florida or West Palm Beach personal injury attorney can go over your case and help you develop a claim to recover compensation for the damages you have experienced. Lawyers are familiar with the requirements and timeline for filing claims and can help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 522-5800 to get help with your personal injury claim settlement.