When someone causes you harm, even unintentionally, sometimes it’s necessary to pursue the matter in court. For example, if you’re injured in an accident you need to file a personal injury claim to get your medical bills covered. If you settle for an insurance settlement instead, the compensation you receive may not be enough to cover your medical bills and lost wages.

When someone else’s negligence causes you harm, they should be held responsible. You shouldn’t have to be on the hook for expenses you didn’t cause. However, it’s equally important not to pursue someone beyond reasonable means. Anger can easily turn to resent, and resent can turn to revenge and greed. In the end, you might win a large sum of money but if you pursued your case with a vengeance, you’re also hurting yourself.

Consider the true extent of your injuries 

Before filing a lawsuit against somebody, consider the true extent of the damage. Were you physically harmed? If so, have your injuries already healed? Are your wounds superficial? Are you able to go back to work even with accommodation?

If your injuries are minor or superficial and your doctors expect you to make a full, quick recovery, think twice before launching a lawsuit against the person who caused you harm. File a claim with the insurance company and try to negotiate a reasonable settlement with them first. If you can negotiate a settlement that covers your bills, spare the other person the inconvenience of being dragged into court. Don’t sue for pain and suffering or lost wages if it’s not a valid claim.

It’s easy to forget that getting a settlement in court means the other person might need to pay you out of pocket, and that level of debt might ruin them financially. They might even need to file bankruptcy, which means you’ll never see the money.

Significant injuries are different

When your injuries are insignificant, it’s best to avoid unnecessarily dragging someone else through the court system out of greed for a larger settlement. However, if your injuries are significant, you might not get enough compensation from the insurance company. In that case, you should pursue the matter in court.

Let the courts decide what’s fair

In a personal injury case, your lawyer will need to prove several factors to win the case. Some of these factors, according to Marks & Harrison, include establishing the fault of the other party, showing that your injuries wouldn’t have happened otherwise, and demonstrating the extent of harm you’ve suffered. Your lawyer will do their best to seek the maximum amount of compensation available from all available insurance policies. It’s up to the judge or jury to make the final ruling.

Don’t let greed get the best of you in the courtroom. Your lawyer will know what is considered fair compensation for your type of case. Trust your attorney’s advice and know that they wouldn’t ask for less than you deserve.

Use your settlement money appropriately

Once you receive your settlement, use it to pay your medical bills and other expenses first before you think about buying new clothes or gifts for other people. If you’re not sure how long your injuries will take to heal, tuck the money away in your savings account to draw on through your healing process. If you have internal injuries that can’t be detected, you’ll be thankful you saved the extra cash.

Let go of anger or blame toward the person who hurt you

It’s not easy to let go of anger or blame when you’ve been hurt, but doing so will help you heal. The angrier you feel, the more stressed you’ll be. Feeling stressed releases cortisol and adrenaline into your body, which can cause harm to your body after extended periods of time. You’ll feel agitated, on edge, cranky, your sleep will be disrupted, and people won’t want to be around you.

A wise person once said that harboring resent is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Holding onto resent is like drinking that poison. Letting go of anger and resent doesn’t mean you’re absolving the other person of their responsibility; it just means you’re not willing to cause yourself harm.

Remember that accidents do happen

Just because you were hurt doesn’t mean the other person hurt you on purpose. The other person probably feels terrible about causing you pain. Remember that genuine accidents happen, and although you suffered an injury, it was likely unintentional.