Having your personal injury case go to trial is a tough decision. A settlement might seem like the easy way out but taking too low of an offer could cause more problems in the future than it solves. The most important thing you can do when settling a personal injury case is to take your time and really understand what you are getting into before signing any papers or accepting any offers from the insurance company because once you sign something, there’s no going back.
1. Understanding A Personal Injury Case
A personal injury settlement is not the same as a criminal case settlement. The insurance company can use your settlement amount against you if you ever decide to sue for more money in the future because the two cases are completely separate and will be judged by different juries (if your new case goes to trial). This means that the damages sought in your second case could end up being much lower than what you would have received from them had you not settled the first one. To completely understand your personal injury case, the lawyers at InjuryClaimNYCLaw provide both legal advice and services. It is vital that before accepting any offer, you meet with a lawyer and ask them what they would expect to receive if they were litigating this case, especially if this will be your second or third lawsuit regarding this matter. Your chances of winning will greatly increase if there’s no previous settlement offered.
2. Does The Offer Make Sense?
An insurance company is not going to offer you what your case is actually worth, so take the time to understand what they could be thinking behind their offers. When taking the time to consider whether or not you should accept an offer, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that it’s reasonable. First of all, never settle with the first offer because this will make them think that you don’t know how much your case is worth and they will use this against you in future cases when they suspect that you may have more information about your injuries than what has been disclosed during negotiations. They might also try to convince you that if it goes to court, it will be more expensive.
Be wary of offers over $100,000 because if the case is worth that much money, they could have easily gone to court and had a trial by jury. Also, make sure you understand what it means if the offer is stated as “payable for all intents and purposes.” This can mean anything from receiving five years’ worth of payments or just one lump sum, which means that your life will be made more difficult during the settlement period because you will have to pay off high-interest credit cards on top of medical bills. If this is your only option, then you should probably take it but keep in mind how hard it’s going to be to pay everything back with rates.
3. The Right Time To Settle Your Personal Injury Case
There are several times that you can settle your personal injury case. First, if there has been a previous settlement offer made by the insurance company and it is similar in value to an acceptable settlement amount, then you should probably take this offer. Secondly, if your medical treatment is almost finished but you have not received any offers yet from the insurance company, it might be best for you to get something now while they still think that you won’t go to court over this matter because even though nothing has happened yet, their offers will only become smaller as time goes on unless there’s another reason for them to stall. Finally, settling early on makes sense when your injuries are not life-threatening or permanent and they’ve already started clearing up on their own.
4. How To Find The Right Lawyer for Your Situation
When you’re injured, it’s important that you find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury and has experience with the local court. Make sure to ask them how many cases they’ve won and what percentage of their clients have received compensation for their injuries because this is a good indication of whether or not they will be able to help you too! Also inquire about what payment options are available, such as contingency agreements where your lawyer receives a percentage of your settlement amount if successful (usually 25%) or paying after the fact (and receiving one bill for all services).
Settling a personal injury case can be difficult enough as it is without having to worry about whether or not you’re receiving fair compensation for your injuries. By taking the time to properly research things and read all of the fine print on an offer, they will make negotiations much easier to understand which will result in a more positive outcome for both parties involved.