If you've been injured by someone else and it wasn't your fault, you shouldn't have to pay a dime that won't be compensated in full. Especially when involved in store, restaurant, or public venue accidents caused by someone else's negligence, you can't let your life be derailed any more than it already is with the injury and recovery without holding the responsible parties accountable. Here are a few concepts to keep in mind as you search for monetary and service-based compensation after injury.
Don't Be Fooled By Big Numbers
Depending on your income level, thousands or millions of dollars may look like a huge, lucky break in light of an injury. Keep in mind that you'll need some or all of that money for medical expenses.
Spending settlement money on everything but healthcare is a mistake that sends many personal injury lawsuit winners into destitution. Sometimes it's greed, other times it's financial responsibility mistakes, but every situation can be improved with one simple concept: don't accept the money until you know how much your medical bills cost.
After an injury, you're entitled to more than just medical bill coverage. From the popular pain and suffering payment to calculating your material losses and wage losses, there are a lot of price points to add on top of your medical bills.
You also need to get a real estimate of your medical costs. This means speaking with multiple medical professionals who have nothing to do with the legal case--meaning no connection to you or your legal opponent--to get multiple price points. If there's a chance that you may be permanently disabled, you'll need a personal injury lawyer to calculate not only the medical costs, but the administrative costs associated with being classified as disabled.
Services Beyond Money
There are times when the price tag isn't as high as you want it to be, even with a lawyer's help. This is less because of a stubborn legal opponent and more because of the judge or mediator attached to the issue. While you should absolutely appeal the decision and seek other legal routes if you think you deserve more direct money, you should also look into services that could cost less in the meantime.
This could mean forcing your legal opponent to handle your Social Security disability administrative costs, which include getting a social security lawyer (or hiring more time with your personal injury lawyer, if necessary) and making sure your new standard of living is as close to your old standard of living as possible.
You can also ask that your legal opponent pay for vocational rehabilitation or even college tuition. If you need another career because of injuries, it's a good idea to have someone cover your school costs while making sure money comes in to handle bills.
Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss other financial planning points during an injury claim.