Personal Injury Attorney
So your case has made its way along and eventually your lawyer will meet with you and let you know that a settlement has been offered. Your lawyer will, of course give you input, but at the end of the day, the decision on whether or not to take the offered settlement lies with you. That said, there are a couple of questions one might ask: Is the amount sufficient? Does it cover the cost of lost wages? Accumulated bills? Is it the amount I deserve relative to the amount I’ve suffered? Is there a possibility to receive more? Or, should I take the money and go? These questions come naturally, as they are important to you moving on and having mental closure from your case. But there are some finer points you should consider regarding a settlement.
Don’t settle until you recover completely.
While there are injuries that make themselves known immediately, there are other injuries that are only revealed over the passage of time. Most of these injuries affect you mentally, specifically your motor functions that affect everyday actions. They start out small, but eventually become mildly noticeable, then unmistakable to you and other people. Most injuries like this are permanent, so if you haven’t received a confirmation from a doctor that you’ve recovered completely, or if your doctor discovers a new ailment, you’ll want to wait and make sure it’s properly represented in your settlement.
The first offer isn’t the only offer.
As conveyed above, there are times you’ll want to wait and reconsider. Some insurance adjusters, however, will portray in thinly veiled words that this offer is the only offer and you likely won’t get another. This is an attempt to get you to take an amount that’s lower than you deserve. Your lawyer will know better and tell you when he/she thinks the insurance company is undercutting the true value of the case. Your attorney will also likely tell you how you can get a better settlement, whether it’s a re-emphasis of key evidence or letting the passage of time reveal more of the case. The important thing to remember is that the first offer isn’t necessarily the only one or the best one.
Once accepted, it’s final.
So, say you get an offer, and you heard your lawyer’s yay or nay opinion regarding it, and you decide to take the settlement. You make all the required statements and sign all the necessary papers and eventually leave with a check in hand. Once you’ve done that, your case has officially concluded and there’s nothing more that you can do. If you start experiencing symptoms of an injury that hasn’t fully recovered, you can’t make any further efforts to claim money for future damages because the papers were already signed. Just remember, when deciding on whether or not to take a settlement, sometimes it’s better to wait.