By Jedidiah McKeehan

Here are five steps to help you maximize your accident settlement and minimize any long-lasting trauma.

Know Your Sources For Receiving Compensation

When you are in an accident, you can often get a settlement from multiple insurance policies. Many victims don’t even know they can often benefit from their insurance policies, let alone those belonging to the people who caused the accidents.  If the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance or has only a small amount of coverage, you may still be able to recover benefits that full under the uninsured/underinsured terms of your policy. Some of these steps can be tedious. If you don’t have confidence in this process, you might want to ask an experienced personal injury lawyer for help. He or she can assume responsibility and relieve you of the burden.

Follow The Doctor’s Orders

Many people hurt their position in a case or settlement by stopping doctor’s visits before the doctor has formally ended their treatment. It’s best to complete all recommended medical treatment because your injuries may be more complex than you initially thought. Symptoms may manifest until days or weeks have passed. The mere fact that you are not presently experiencing pain doesn’t mean that your injuries have fully healed. If you cease treatment or ignore your physician’s recommendations, insurance companies can, and will use, your actions against you. Seeking damages for continued pain and suffering will become very difficult. To recap, make sure you follow your doctor’s orders to the letter.

Be Prepared To File A Lawsuit

Unless you’re comfortable with the settlement amounts under discussion, don’t settle your case. Prepare to file your legal claim only after your rehabilitation is complete, which, as mentioned earlier, is only when your doctor has stated in writing that you’re “discharged.” Remember that you have one year from the date of your injury to take action. It goes without saying that you need a lawyer who is willing to try your case if necessary. Ask a reputable lawyer about the merits of your case and ask for an honest opinion on the pros and cons of settling or seeing your case through a full trial.

Get Some Honest Legal Advice

You probably had a doctor evaluate your injuries, and it’s sensible to have a legal professional evaluate your potential legal claim. An experienced personal injury trial lawyer should carefully review the police report, doctors’ statements, therapy bills, time lost from work, and other information. He or she can then give you an expert opinion about the estimated value of your case. Reputable attorneys don’t always recommend that people hire a lawyer. They often give them advice on how to handle a particular situation on their own, thus saving them money that they could be using to pay bills.

Make The Right Lawyer Choice

Insurance companies and their lawyers keep tabs on the plaintiff’s choice in legal counsel. They know who the “fighters” are, meaning, which lawyers will take them to court.  They also know the “settlers”—those lawyers who make a show of their services but don’t like the trenches. The fighters usually get more money for their clients than the settlers. Ask about your lawyer’s track record in the courtroom. Trial experience makes a huge difference in the outcome.

In summary, you can often take initial steps to pursue your claim on your own, but having a lawyer alongside to aid in accomplishing those steps is often helpful in reaching the best possible outcome and resolution of your case.