Is Accepting A Settlement Offer Worth It?
One of the biggest reasons someone might go looking for a personal injury lawyer in their area is to figure out if a settlement offer is worthwhile. It's not always a simple issue to address, but scheduling a consultation with an attorney will at least give you a start on dealing with it. Let's take a look at some things that will factor into your decision.
Paying Medical Bills
The big thing you need to do here before you consider this part of the question is to arrive at a lifetime dollar figure for your medical bills. It's not just about what you've already spent trying to get better. You'll also need to account for potentially years or even a lifetime of needing medicine, physical therapy, nursing, and medical devices. Until you have a number for this, it's unwise to consider taking a settlement offer.
Clients should also know what the personal injury law in their state says about liability. For example, some states use a system known as comparative negligence in many types of cases. This means plaintiffs can be found partially liable for what happened. A settlement offer might be lower because the claims adjuster is subtracting what they see as your percentage of responsibility in the case.
It should be noted that this isn't necessarily wrong. You don't want to accept an offer on this basis, however, without first talking things over with an injury lawyer.
How Likely Are You To Win More Money?
This is one of the ugly parts of the equation, but it's something all attorneys and clients have to confront. Not all cases are financially worth it. If you can recover $10,000 in compensation, for example, is it going to be worth paying an attorney's fees to win a couple thousand more dollars? For most folks, the answer is going to be, "Probably not." On the flip side, you likely don't want to settle a potential million-dollar case for $100,000.
Every case eventually has to end. While you're waiting to see how negotiations will land, there's a solid possibility that you'll be faced with accumulating medical bills, mortgage payments, rent, or utility bills.
It's possible, in most cases, to ask those parties to hold off while you get to a settlement. A lien might be placed against your settlement in the meantime, but that's probably fair. Eventually, though, time and your creditors' patience will run thin.
To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area.