If you’re planning on taking action against the party that’s liable for your injuries, you’re probably wondering how to pursue the maximum payout possible. After all, sustaining unanticipated injuries is enough to threaten most families’ financial security. From hospital bills to missed paychecks, the resulting damages can add up fast.
While there’s no way to ensure your claim will yield a sizable settlement, there are steps you can take to increase its potential value. Read on to learn what those are:
1. Investigate the Accident Thoroughly
If multiple parties played a role in the accident, it’s imperative to identify each one, so you can name all of them in your claim. That way, the total compensation you might be entitled to will be capped by their available policies combined, rather than by a single party’s insurance limits.
2. Log Your Damages Diligently
You can only seek compensation for the damages you can prove you incurred, so make sure to record all the expenses associated with treating your injuries. Preserve relevant receipts, invoices, and statements for your legal team to tally when quantifying your losses.
It's also a good idea to start a personal injury journal. Detailed entries about the progress of your recovery, including the ways in which your condition is impacting your quality of life, will be valuable when it comes time to demonstrate non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Often the time for answering these type of questions will come months after the wreck due to the procedural process of litigation. Accordingly, its helpful to contemporaneously write down your physical and mental difficulties.
3. Follow All Medical Advice
If you ignore your doctor’s orders and end up suffering complications, the liable party may try to argue that you’re partially responsible for the injuries you are alleging. Because South Carolina has a modified comparative fault rule, such an assertion could considerably reduce the total compensation to which you are entitled.
Under this modified comparative fault system, a plaintiff’s recovery is reduced according to their own percentage of contribution to the damages, if any. Additionally, those who are found more than 50 percent responsible are barred from recovering anything at all.
4. Avoid Corresponding with the Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters have all kinds of strategies for getting claimants to accept less than they deserve, and many are not above using manipulative tactics. As such, it’s best to avoid interacting with the opposing party at all. Instead, refer them to your legal team as soon as you retain counsel. Your attorney can handle all correspondence with the insurance adjuster, so you don’t inadvertently devalue your claim.
5. Consider the Potential for Punitive Damages
In addition to the standard compensatory damages, South Carolina allows for the recovery of punitive damages when warranted. Generally speaking, such damages are awarded when the liable party’s conduct constituted ill will, malice, conscious indifference, or a reckless disregard for the life, health, or safety of others. Some examples include drunk drivers or collisions caused by excessively high speed over the limit.
Call 864-585-3873 to Discuss Your Case with a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney
Building a strong personal injury claim is inherently stressful, but it’s not a task you have to take on alone. For help with your action, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm. Our team has more than 50 years of collective experience in the legal field, and we’ll put it to work for you. To set up a free case review with a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina, call 864-585-3873 or complete our Contact Form.