Ways to increase the value of your car accident injury claim
This message is for people trying to settle their car accident injury claim without an attorney. To increase the value of your car accident claim, San Juan Capistrano car accident attorney John P. Burns offers these suggestions.
Photos of your vehicles-
Use your smart phone camera to take photos of all the vehicles in the accident. If they show visible damage, take them to Kinko’s and have them made into 8 1/2 ” by 11″ color prints.
Put them first in the settlement demand package you are sending to the insurance adjuster for the person who caused the accident. If there is substantial visible damage the adjuster may be willing to add more value to your case.
There is more information on what to do at the accident scene in this link to an Article by attorney John P. Burns.
Records of your medical treatment for the car accident–
Try to put at the front of your package any records which show a “demonstrable” injury instead of a “soft tissue” injury.
A “demonstrable” injury is one which you could produce a photo, X Ray or MRI to demonstrate. An example would be a color photo of a swollen leg, photos of cuts or scars, an X ray of a broken pinkie finger or any other injury which will show up in a photo.
Soft tissue injury
A “soft tissue” injury is an injury to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. These injuries are almost impossible to show a picture of. Adjusters put less value on them.
Why demonstrable proof is better
Insurance adjusters may be more favorably impressed with your claim when they are presented with evidence of an injury that can be visibly seen. The adjuster knows that, if you ever get a lawyer who takes your case to trial, the jury will be more willing to award money for injuries they can see than injuries they cannot see. For this reason insurance adjusters may tend to offer more money to settle cases with demonstrable injuries.
Don’t forget your lost wages claim
To get paid for your lost time at work all you usually need is a letter from your supervisor. The supervisor needs to have typed out, on your company’s letterhead paper, a letter explaining how many hours you lost from work, how much you make per hour and then multiply it out to state the total amount of wages you lost.
In California, the person who caused your injuries does not get any set off or credit if you used sick time or leave time. Just add the letter from the supervisor to your settlement package and the adjuster will usually give you your lost wages.
San Juan Capistrano car accident attorney John P. Burns offers a book, at no charge, to California residents. It includes more valuable information on how to increase the value of your car accident case.