How to Maximize Personal Injury Compensation for Your Client
If you want happy clients and a good reputation for your law firm, it’s important to work to maximize personal injury compensation. Doing so will financially benefit your clients, increase your potential for earning good reviews and referrals, and even help you make more money in the process (since you’ll earn a portion of the settlements you win for your clients in most cases).
So what steps can you take to maximize personal injury compensation for a client?
Preserve and Maximize Evidence
Work to preserve and maximize the evidence in your client’s favor. You may have to work with multiple parties, including your client, to accomplish this. For example, you can encourage your client to look for photos, documents, or video that demonstrates the event occurring. You could talk with local police, business owners, or even eyewitnesses to learn more about the circumstances of the event. You might even talk to experts, such as car mechanics, to get their take and ask them if they’d be willing to provide expert witness testimony during a trial.
Seek Medical Treatment (and Document It)
Encourage your client to get as much medical treatment as they need to recover from their injuries (and document it). One of the best ways to quantify the damage done to your client through personal injury is through medical bills and documented appointments; it’s irrefutable that your client faced these specific expenses. Plus, it’s important to prove that your client is actively trying to recover from their injuries.
Incorporate All Forms of Damage (Including Future Damages)
Be prepared to fight for compensation for all forms of damage done to your client, including, but not limited to:
- Medical expenses. First and most obviously, there are medical expenses. That includes hospital bills, costs of prescription medication and devices, and the costs of physical therapy and follow-up appointments as well.
- Future treatments. Don’t forget about the future treatments this client is going to need. Will they be in physical therapy for months, or even years to come? Those costs need to be incorporated as well.
- Lost wages. Is this client out of work because of the injury? You’ll need to include the wages they’ve currently lost – and the wages they’re going to lose in the future.
- Pain and suffering. Your client’s subjective pain and suffering should also be taken into consideration. Do they feel chronic pain every day? Do they have trouble eating? Have they lost sleep because of the pain?
- Loss of consortium. If your client lost a spouse or partner during the accident, or if their relationship sustained major damage in some way, you may also be able to prove loss of consortium.
The more you can quantify and prove these damages, the better position your client will be in.
You and your client should both remain tight-lipped about this case and the personal injury. If your client posts on social media about their physical state, or if they brag about potentially winning a settlement, it could be disruptive to the legal process – and could possibly jeopardize your chances of winning a settlement moving forward.
Make a Professional Impression
While it’s not going to totally make or break your case, it’s important to make a professional impression as you meet with opposing counsel, represent your client, and possibly go to court. That means dressing professionally, coming to meetings on time and prepared, remaining calm and in control during meetings, and making eye contact with all parties involved. If you come across as more professional and more experienced, you’re going to make a bigger impact.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
Next, you’ll need to be prepared to negotiate. Most personal injury cases end with a settlement out of court – so if you negotiate effectively, you should be able to walk away with the biggest possible settlement for your client (and the fewest headaches for both you and the opposition).
Better negotiating means you’ll need to:
- Do your research. Go into negotiations with as much preparation and research as possible. You should be familiar with this case and the circumstances around it, inside and out. You should also have knowledge of how previous cases have been settled in the past – and familiar with both the defendant and the opposing counsel.
- Stick to the facts. It’s easy to get carried away in negotiations, but it’s important to stick to the facts as much as possible. You may be able to suggest that your client is emotionally suffering, but you can definitively prove that their medical bills amounted to $15,000. The more hard evidence you bring and the more you use it as the foundation of your arguments, the better.
- Explain inadequacies. If and when you reject an offer from the opposition, take the time to explain what, specifically, is inadequate about it. Is it too low an offer? If so, why is it too low? What expenses are they missing? Providing specific direction, especially if it’s anchored by evidence, will help you go far.
- Remain calm and polite. Throughout the negotiation process, remain as calm and polite as possible. Conducting yourself professionally can help you see better results.
- Project confidence. While you’re at it, try to project confidence. Carefully control your focus and your body language, and argue as if you’re certain you’re going to win your client the biggest possible settlement.
You may have learned many of these tactics in law school, and gleaned others from personal experience. But one way to better serve your clients is less commonly discussed in educational environments: the possibility of pre-settlement funding. Pre-settlement funding is designed to provide immediate capital to your clients; once their settlement comes in, they can pay the loan back (plus any fees). You’ll look like a superhero and your clients can get some financial relief.
If you’re interested in learning more about Capital Now Funding or our approach to pre-settlement loans, contact us today!