Strategies to Increase Compensation for Pain & Suffering - Lee Steinberg Law Firm

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Strategies to Increase Compensation for Pain & Suffering

compensation for pain and suffering

Every person wants to be treated fairly when injured by the negligence of another person or company. Besides acknowledging the mistake, fair treatment towards the injured person is also reflected in the amount of pain and suffering compensation they get. In Michigan, there are no special rules to how much pain and suffering a person receives due to a specific injury, such as a broken leg or low back pain. However, there are strategies to help increase the compensation an injured person receives in a Michigan personal injury case.

The following is a list of strategies to increase your Michigan pain and suffering case.

1. Gather Evidence

If possible, gather as much evidence at the accident scene as possible. If you can take photos or video of the vehicle damage or defective condition that caused the injuries, take as many as possible. In addition:

  • Get the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses
  • Take photos of the license plates of all vehicles involved in the crash
  • Take pictures of the broken cement, handrail, porch, or place that caused your injuries. Also, take photos of the dog bite wounds after a dog attack.
  • Take photos of injuries and medical equipment, such as scars, road rash, bruising, braces, and casts.

2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Soon after a car accident or slip and fall, it is important to seek medical treatment. Yes, it is important for a potential pain and suffering lawsuit, but much more importantly you need to know what injuries you have and the best course for treatment before things get worse.

Even if your injuries do not require a hospital visit or a trip to the emergency room, it is important to seek some type of medical treatment. An urgent care can at least take x-rays and rule out major damage. A trip to a family doctor will provide clarity as to what injuries you sustained and the severity of the injuries.

Getting medical treatment soon after a personal injury in Michigan also demonstrates to the insurance company the injuries are causally related to the accident. Failing to go to the doctor, especially large gaps in medical visits can be very detrimental to a case.

3. Medical Documentation

The best way to get more compensation is to listen to your doctors and make sure you follow up with medical appointments. I like to say a person “can complain until the cows come home” but if they do not have medical documentation to back up their complaints of pain and injury, none of it matters.

For example, if a family doctor refers you for physical therapy, then you should attend the physical therapy sessions. First, it is what you should do to get better. Second, if you wish to get more money for your pain and suffering, listen to your doctors. Following your doctor’s orders tells the judge and jury you are a good patient who is trying your best to get better.

4. Pictures Tell a Thousand Words

Have a family member or friend take photographs over time of your injuries. A person can describe their scaring, the bruising, and the pain, but a picture is the best evidence and the best way to explain the injuries to a judge, jury, or the insurance company.

It is also important to take photos as time goes on to show how long the wounds lasted, or if they are permanent.

5. Keep Track of Medical Bills and Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Make sure to keep all medical bills, hospital bills, co-pays, prescriptions, and out-of-pocket expenses. Turn these over to your lawyer so your lawyer can present this formally to the defendant’s insurance carrier as part of your case.

If you don’t have this information, don’t worry. An attentive Michigan personal injury lawyer can order these records directly from the hospital, doctor, or even pharmacy. Still, the more records you keep yourself the easier it is to present them when the case is ready for settlement.

6. Write a Life Impact Statement

Keep a diary of all the things you are limited from doing because of the car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or whatever event caused your injuries. This list should include all hobbies, recreational events, and family events. Think about things inside the home (like chores) that you could not do or were limited from doing.

Then make a list of all the things outside the home. This list must include things you can do now but could not before, or still cannot accomplish. Examples like walking around the neighborhood, gardening, working out, hunting, fishing, using an ORV, or anything that explains to the other side what your life was like before the defendant took that away from you should be on this life impact statement.

7. Social Media

Stay off social media or be very careful when using social media. Don’t tell your lawyers or the defense you can’t do something that is discoverable on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Lying about your limitations and then getting discovered on social media can ruin your case. And be careful about your privacy settings. Only your friends should be able to view your photos and posts, not the entire world. This is a good idea not just for personal injury litigation, but in general.

8. Hire a Good Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer

Trying to do this alone is a fool’s errand. You won’t get very far, you most likely will make errors in case presentation, and you will not receive the full value you deserve. A good Michigan personal injury lawyer will help you get more money. It’s that simple. This is what experienced and competent lawyers do:

  • Take the depositions of the defendants and lay witnesses to prove fault or negligence.
  • Obtain all evidence from the other side to prove your case.
  • Meet and hire medical experts to show the severity of your injuries and how they will affect you in the future.
  • Hire experts to help prove liability on the part of the defendant or to show the crash was a cause of your injuries. For example, an accident reconstructionist can analyze driving data, photos, video and other evidence to recreate the incident.
  • File motions asking the court to grant you relief or to protect you from the defendant trying to get your case dismissed.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get the most money
  • Take your case to a jury trial if needed.

9. Be Prepared to File a Lawsuit in Court

Some cases can get settled before a lawsuit is filed in court. This is called a pre-litigation settlement. But often a lawsuit is necessary to obtain the most pain and suffering compensation. So be prepared to have your case filed in a local circuit court if needed. Filing a lawsuit does take longer, but it can also increase the amount of money you can obtain for your injuries.

Schedule a Free Consultation

There are a lot of strategies to make sure you can control to get the most money after a personal injury. Hiring the best Michigan personal injury lawyer is the best strategy. The Michigan personal injury attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm are some of the most respected lawyers in the state. Our team takes cases all over Michigan, and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients get everything they deserve.

To get a free consultation, please call our office at 1-800-533-3733 or fill out an online form here. And as always, there are no fees until we win your Michigan Personal Injury Cases