As we’ve talked about on the blog in the past, the vast majority of injury claims are actually settled well before they end up in front of a judge. Both parties can benefit from a settlement agreement, and it takes some of the uncertainty out of the equation. That being said, you probably don’t want to jump at that first settlement offer, because you could be leaving money on the table. Below, we explain when you should agree to that settlement offer in an injury case.
Knowing When To Settle
Knowing when to settle your injury claim is important for maximizing your claim and ensuring your needs are covered, but how will you know when you’ve received the right settlement offer? For starters, answering that question is always easier with a lawyer by your side. Odds are you’ve never gone through this process before, and on the off chance that you have, you still may struggle to come up with an appropriate settlement offer on your own. Don’t let the other party’s insurance company take advantage of your inexperience with the system.
Now that you have a lawyer by your side, it’s easier to determine whether or not you should settle. If clients ask us for our opinion on whether or not they should accept a settlement, we always ask if they can say yes to the following two questions:
- Are you satisfied that all your needs are being met by the current offer; and
- Do you and your lawyer agree that this settlement offer is in your best interest based on the totality of the facts?
The first question is a bit easier for the client to answer on their own. What were your goals coming into this lawsuit, and have they been met? Were you hoping to have your medical bills covered and receive an additional $10,000 for pain and suffering? If the settlement offer covers both of those points, now may be the time to settle. However, if the insurance company is failing to budge on a certain topic, like what type of rehabilitation treatments you’re entitled to pursue, you may want to hold off on settling until you can offer a counter settlement of your own.
The second aspect to consider when determining whether or not to settle is if you and your lawyer believe the settlement is in your best interest. This will involve going over every aspect of your case with your lawyer and allowing them to explain where the strengths and weaknesses of your case are. If you have an airtight case, now may not be the time to settle until the insurance company concedes to all your wishes. However, if there are conflicting witness statements or your case may be tough to prove in court, maybe a sure thing that covers most of your needs is actually the best outcome for your case. If your needs aren’t fully being met by the settlement offer, weighing the totality of your case against what you have to gain and lose can help make the determination as to whether or not you should settle, and your lawyer can help ensure you have all the information before making a decision.
If you’re at beginning an injury lawsuit or are considering settling your case without a lawyer, take a moment and reach out to our firm to see what we can do for you. A few minutes on the phone can save you tens of thousands of dollars or more, so don’t miss out on this opportunity. Give the team at Margolis Law Office a call today.
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