If you are involved in a personal injury claim, you may wonder how much money you can get in the settlement process. Since personal injury is a complex area of the law, you may also wonder if hiring an attorney is worth it. Many people try to handle cases on their own, thinking they can settle a claim by reading the laws on Google. However, it is never that easy.
Before you go ahead and handle a legal claim yourself, it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into. Even though it is possible to handle a claim without a Seattle personal injury attorney, you should still understand the risks and consequences. Nevertheless, following a few helpful tips can help you get a good settlement amount.
Negotiating a personal injury settlement without a lawyer
- Gather evidence.
If you are going to negotiate a personal injury claim in Seattle without a lawyer’s help, you should first gather enough evidence. Moreover, the evidence should be solid and indicate that you were not at fault while the other party had a fault in the accident that resulted in your injuries. Examples of good pieces of evidence include photos, videos, medical records, receipts of expenses related to the accident, an account of your pain and suffering, etc.
- Calculate your damages.
After you have gathered enough evidence, it is time to calculate your damages, both economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to medical bills, property damage, and lost income, which is easier to calculate. Non-economic damages such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering cannot be easily determined. An expert witness can help with calculating the costs of non-economic damages.
- Build a case.
You have gathered evidence and calculated the cost of your damages. The most important step you are left to take is to build a strong case against the defendant. You must develop an argument strong enough to convince the jury that their actions were negligent. You must also prove that a responsible individual would have taken reasonable measures to avoid the accident.
- File a lawsuit.
You may need to file a lawsuit if the defendant party does not respond to your demand letter or refuses to pay you a reasonable amount for your damages. Insurance companies often try to settle on a small amount. They will either not take the negotiation seriously or try to stall the process. You may need to go to trial if that is the case.