If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
While many people think of personal injury cases as leading to trial, the truth is that most of them settle. This means that your (or your lawyer’s) ability to negotiate is crucial to being able to recover fair compensation for your claim.
Factors That Can Strengthen Your Texas Personal Injury Claim
Certain factors can potentially strengthen your claim and therefore increase its potential value and likelihood of settling.
These factors include:
Strong Medical Records
Medical records can establish that you are taking your health seriously and can create a link between the accident and your injuries.
Ideally, your medical records should show that:
- You sought treatment immediately after the accident. This shows that there is likely no other reason for your injuries.
- You suffered an injury or illness that can be documented with objective medical evidence. This prevents the insurance company from claiming that you did not suffer an injury or that you are exaggerating your injuries.
- You have reached maximum medical improvement. This is the point when your medical condition has stabilized, and you are not expected to recover any further. It is also the point when your legal team can more accurately estimate your future care needs and the value of your claim.
Once you have the appropriate medical documentation, your lawyer can begin preparing your demand package that specifically identifies your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
Another party is only responsible for financially compensating you if they were careless by violating a legal duty they owed to you. Strong evidence can help establish liability.
For example, in a car accident claim, your lawyer may be able to obtain and present the following evidence in your favor:
- Car accident report
- Photos of the accident scene
- Videos leading up to the accident, such as from nearby surveillance, traffic, or dash cameras
- Cell phone records showing that the driver was engaged in distracted driving immediately before the accident
- Electronic information about the moments just before the crash
- Witness statements that say the other driver committed a traffic violation
- Medical records that show the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit
Your lawyer can use this evidence to bolster your case and demand fair compensation on your behalf.
While you can potentially recover compensation for pain and suffering, it is usually better if you can establish some economic harm, too. For example, you may have incurred medical expenses and expect to require medical care in the future due to your injuries. You may have lost wages or may have been rendered permanently disabled and unable to return to work.
Your lawyer may also ask for your help in establishing your losses. For example, they may ask you to keep a daily pain journal to document your pain and other drawbacks from the accident.
An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Trying to negotiate on your own can be a bad idea. You probably don’t do this for a living, and you have a lot of other things to worry about. By having a good lawyer on your side, you can leave negotiations to seasoned professionals.
A Willingness To Go To Court
If you are unable to reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company, you must be willing to demand justice and financial accountability by going to court. While we will try to avoid this whenever possible to ease your burden, a willingness to go to court can sometimes be the leverage we need to ultimately resolve your claim for top dollar.
Factors That Can Weaken Your Texas Personal Injury Claim
There are also factors that can weaken your claim and its potential value, including:
Delayed Medical Treatment
Even though not all injuries are immediately apparent, insurance companies may try to use delayed medical treatment to argue that you were not really injured, you are exaggerating your injuries, or you suffered the injury in some other accident.
Low Insurance Limits
Insurance companies will usually only pay up to the policy limit for a claim. That often represents the ceiling. If the at-fault party has no or little insurance, this can substantially decrease the potential value of your claim and your negotiating power.
Your Own Negligence
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence system when assigning fault and providing compensation to claimants. Under this system, you can still sue the at-fault party even if you contributed to the accident – up to a certain point.
However, your damages are reduced by your degree of fault. So, if you are 25% at fault for the accident, your damages are also reduced by 25%.
If you share more than 50% of the blame, you’re barred from financial recovery from the other party.
Insurance companies often know they are at an advantage because accident victims need money for medical bills, to make up for lost wages, and to support their families. Insurance companies sometimes take advantage of this by offering a quick settlement so that you accept a lower amount of money rather than waiting for fair compensation.
An Experienced Laredo Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Negotiate a Fair Settlement
If you need help negotiating fair compensation for your claim, contact an experienced Laredo personal injury lawyer at Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers. Call us today at (956) 529-7336 to get the help you deserve.