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Indiana Personal Injury Cases: How to Get My Settlement

To get your settlement in an Indiana personal injury case, it is always best to have a “concrete” plan of action. With a set action-plan, you increase your chances of getting a higher settlement. You can also get the settlement more quickly. Let’s talk about a few beneficial steps necessary in most cases in order to force the insurance company to give a settlement offer.

Step 1: Collect all your Bills, Expenses, and Documentation

Before you can analyze how much you want to demand in settlement, you must first be organized. It is important to collect all bills, expenses, and documentation. All of this information must be presented later to either the insurance adjuster or your attorney. Remember, if the accident was recent or you are still receiving treatment, keep acquiring as much documentation as possible.  Medical personnel will usually assist you in making proper notations as to how you are being treated and what caused the need for treatment.

Step 2: Analyze Your Settlement Needs

After you have calculated your total costs and reviewed the documentation, you need to analyze how much you really will need in settlement to be properly compensated for your injuries.  Remember, the settlement will need to cover various categories such as your lost earnings (both past and future), property damage, medical bills, and future medical expenses.  Other areas also must be considered in many cases in order to properly compensate you for your total loss.  As always, it may be advisable to consult with an attorney when analyzing your settlement needs.

Step 3: Demand Settlement

After you have analyzed all categories required to compensate your for your losses, you need to present a formal settlement demand to the insurance company.   This demand should be in writing and should be properly back-up by documentation.   Remember, you may not want to jump at the first offer.  The insurance company is many times “testing the waters” during the first offer.  The insurance company may be testing if you will take the low offer or make a large decrease your amount in your counter-offer.

If you cannot get the insurance company to raise the offer, you need to demand specific reasons as to why they presented such a low offer. Then, you can adjust your strategy or provide additional documentations.  After making such adjustments, you may be able to convince the insurance company to increase their offer to an acceptable amount. Keep in mind that it is normally attorneys who make formal demands to at-fault parties. The “safe way to go” may be to hire an attorney before the demand process.

Step 4: Know When to Hire an Attorney

Insurance companies many times refuse to “play fair.”   If you are dealing with a non-responsive insurance adjuster or liable party, you need to contact an attorney immediately.   Even if the at-fault party is being responsive, it is still advisable to consult with an attorney to make sure all of your rights to recovery are being protected.  Remember, only an attorney has the knowledge to protect you from deadlines and many other legal requirements.  If the at-fault party will not settle, you will need attorney representation to bring a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.  If you get too far into the process with no results, it is highly advisable to hire any attorney to help you until the completion of the process.

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