How to Increase the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
Your doctor’s reputation is also important. There are many doctors who are notorious for having a patient base made up almost solely of personal injury plaintiffs. Insurance companies suspect that many of these patients are faking or exaggerating their injuries. Naturally, the insurance company resents this kind of case and will not offer top dollar. The company may wish to investigate the case very closely for fraud.
If your lawyer refers you to a doctor’s office that is crawling with shady looking characters with soft collars around their necks or if you notice that the patients are treated as if on an assembly line, you probably ought to seriously consider finding a different doctor-and a different lawyer, too.
In auto accident cases, the amount of damage to the cars is viewed with interest by the attorneys and the insurance company. A lot of damage suggests that there was a strong impact and the injuries are legitimate and possibly serious. A small amount of damage emboldens the insurance company to make a small offer, if they make any offer at all. The suspicion that you may not really be hurt arises again here. The insurance company may be willing to roll the dice on the hope that the jurors will not believe that you were really hurt. Particularly suspicious are the cases in which the damage to the vehicles is minor and you run up huge doctor bills at the office of one of the notorious doctors. Get ready for a long and ugly battle or a very low settlement if your case fits this profile.
Missed Work Time
If you were forced to miss time from work because of your injuries, this increases the settlement value of your case. Some people cannot afford to take time off, even if their doctor believes that they should. That is a decision each individual has to make for him- or herself. Take a break if you can afford it. The time off can help you to a speedy recovery and it will help the value of your case. Insurance companies assume that people who do not miss time from work are not hurt very badly.
For auto accident cases, if your car was insured and you did not waive wage-loss benefits, you should be eligible to recover lost wages from your insurance company. If you have no wage-loss coverage, your lost wage claim is added to your settlement demand against the defendant.