Everybody wants closure. You had a frightening accident and you’re in the midst of a painful recovery. There is a natural desire to put all that behind you, and settling the legal aspects of your case can bring you one step closer to the next phase of your post-accident life. So, if an insurance company comes up with a settlement offer that seems reasonable on the surface, why shouldn’t you take it?
The most important thing to remember is that a settlement is forever. Once you sign an agreement, you lose your right to take action in court. Ever. So, you have to ask yourself some very important questions:
- Is your prognosis for recovery certain? How confident are you that you will return to the same state of health you enjoyed before the accident happened? If your injury is one that will affect you into the future, you are entitled to compensation for your future losses, such as future medical care and future pain and suffering. Insurance company settlement offers tend to focus exclusively on your losses up to the moment. If you sign a release, you can’t go back to them in six months or six years and claim you didn’t get enough.
- Will your injuries make you more vulnerable to infirmity in old age? Certain injuries, especially those involving the connective tissue, tend to be degenerative. Are you certain your injury won’t accelerate the aches and pains or infirmities of old age? If you knew you were going to have medical issues in the future, wouldn’t you consider that a loss? And wouldn’t you want compensation?
- Does the settlement offer compensate you adequately for your pain and suffering, or is it all about your financial losses? Insurance companies are notorious for low-balling pain and suffering damages, because they know that injured parties have no experience with these negotiations and don’t know how much to ask for. An insurer will sometimes propose to pay verifiable financial losses and then throw in a token amount for pain and suffering, insisting that the plaintiff is getting a deal. However, an experienced attorney who knows how much similar injuries have been awarded can tell right away that the settlement offer is not adequate.
At Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, we understand the pressures that injured parties face. You’ve got bills piling up and you’ve been unable to work. A settlement can put money in your pocket and ease your mind. However, neither money nor peace will last if the settlement doesn’t really cover the losses you’ve suffered.
If you have questions about the adequacy of a settlement offer in your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, contact a law firm with more than 200 years of combined experience. Call (855) 435-7247 or contact Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban online to schedule a free consultation.