5 Things To Consider Before Accepting A Personal Injury Settlement
After filing a personal injury claim, it might not be clear when you should accept a settlement offer from the insurance company. So, when should you settle your injury claim? The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. There is no specific number of weeks or months you need to wait before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. Instead, there are several factors you need to consider before deciding whether to accept a settlement offer. Below are five crucial things to consider before taking a personal injury settlement.
Have You Considered All Sources of Compensation?
Before settling your Florida personal injury claim, ask yourself, “Have I considered all sources of compensation?” If, for instance, you suffered injuries in a truck accident, it might seem like the truck driver is the only one to blame for your accident. It might not seem like it, but the trucking company and/or the truck manufacturer might also be liable for your injuries and damages. Or suppose you were injured in a drunk driving accident. In such a case, the bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the drunk driver could also be to blame for your injuries and damages. You need to look at all your sources of compensation to ensure you recover the maximum possible compensation.
Does Your Settlement Include Expenses Other Than Medical Expenses?
The insurance company might offer you a huge amount to cover your medical expenses. But in a Florida personal injury claim, you are not only entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses. You also have the right to be compensated for, among others, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and property damage. Before accepting a payment offer from the insurance company, ensure these and all the other economic damages you are entitled to are included in the offer.
Does Your Settlement Include Non-economic Damages?
Apart from economic damages, you are also entitled to recover non-economic damages in your Florida personal injury claim. Non-economic damages in Florida include things such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and mental distress. Before accepting a payment offer from the insurance company, ensure that the offer includes any non-economic damages you may be entitled to. Non-economic damages can make up a huge part of a personal injury settlement.
Calculating non-economic damages can be challenging, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Have You Spoken to Your Attorney?
Before accepting a personal injury settlement from the insurance company, ensure you speak to your attorney. Your personal injury attorney can help you go through the offer and determine if it is a fair one or not. Indeed, the final decision on whether to accept an offer rests on you. However, because your attorney wants what is best for you (as long as you hire the right attorney), it is in your best interest not to accept an offer that your attorney feels is inadequate. If you do not understand why your attorney thinks an offer is insufficient, ask questions until you understand. The right lawyer will make sure that you understand why you deserve more. Additionally, they will help you understand how you can get more.
Have You Reached Maximum Medical Improvement?
Maximum medical improvement is that stage where your injuries have either healed or reached a point where they cannot heal anymore. You should not accept a payment offer from the insurance company if your injuries have not healed or reached a point where they cannot heal anymore. Only after a personal injury victim reaches maximum medical improvement can they understand the full extent of their injuries. For example, only after you reach maximum medical improvement can you know if you will require medical care in the future. If you are bound to incur medical bills in the future, your settlement should include compensation for that.
In conclusion, you need to remember that in most cases, once you sign a settlement release and accept payment from an insurance company, your injury claim is closed, and you cannot ask for more compensation in the future. In other words, if you accept payment from the insurance company and then, after some time, you realize your damages are more than you initially thought, you cannot re-open your case and ask for more compensation.
Contact a Naples Personal Injury Attorney
If you have a pending Florida personal injury claim and need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, our Naples personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro are here for you. We’re dedicated to helping personal injury victims recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.