Although having a lawyer handle your claim is the most likely way to substantially increase your settlement offer, there are some things you can try:
1. Document Everything
Save every hospital bill, mileage spent driving to and from the doctor, prescription drug receipts, and any other proof of the value of your claim. Some costs are straightforward, like repair estimates. But there are many types of damages you may be eligible to receive in a personal injury lawsuit, and considerations you may not be aware of.
Additional personal injury claim costs to consider:
- Property damage
- Car rental
- Hospital deductible
- Non-prescription medical expenses (bandages, braces, etc)
- Chiropractic care
- Future medical expenses
Subrogation means if someone else is at fault for your injuries, your health insurance company has the right to seek reimbursement for their payments.
2. Prepare for Negotiations
Be ready to explain the reason for your claim, and to prove its value with specific points, including your pain and suffering. You may also need to offer evidence determining liability for your injuries.
3. Get it in Writing
During the claims process, communicate with your insurer with letters or emails documenting your actions. Follow up phone calls with a short email confirming any statements or promises made by the representative. They may later dispute the accuracy of your submissions, and it’s important to create proof of your timeliness and responsibility.
4. Know What You’re Up Against
Negotiating an injury claim settlement is nothing like haggling over the price of a used car. Insurance companies are made up of highly trained professionals organized in a chain of command. At every level, their playbook is filled with strategies to minimize your claim.
5. You Probably Need a Lawyer
You may be wondering how to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer, but your best chance at a fair settlement is with the help of an experienced legal team. An insurance company rep may tell you not to bother getting a lawyer because they’ll take care of you. They may even say having an attorney fight for your claim will only make things more difficult, or you’ll lose half your money.
Insurance companies have multiple attorneys on their side—think about why they might tell you not to get an attorney on YOUR side.