Factors To Evaluate Before Agreeing To A PI Settlement Offer

February 27, 2024

Insurance companies and liable parties often use various deceptive tactics to deceive you into accepting a lowball settlement offer for your personal injury claim. They may pressure you to sign a release form, deny or delay your claim, downplay your injuries and damages, or make you believe that you have no other option.

As a personal injury victim dealing with insurance companies, you can’t bet a penny on what their word’s worth because they’re looking out for their interests, not yours. While you shouldn’t trust them, getting a dependable lawyer from a law firm with a track record of proven results and client satisfaction, like the law office of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP, can greatly maximize your chances of a fair settlement.

Don’t fall for their schemes and settle for less than what you deserve. Letting the cat out of the bag, I’ll explain a few factors you should carefully evaluate to ensure that you are getting a fair and adequate amount.

1. The Extent Of Your Injuries & Damages

One of the most important factors to consider before agreeing to a settlement offer is the extent of your injuries and damages. You should have a clear understanding of the current and future impact of your injury on your physical, mental, and financial well-being. This includes:

  • How severe and long-lasting your injuries are and how they affect your ability to work, perform daily activities, and live happily
  • Overall sum of your past and future medical treatment (because of the accident), including surgeries, medications, therapies, and assistive devices
  • Lost wages and potential losses due to your injury and reduced earning capacity
  • The non-economic damages you have suffered, such as pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life

Accepting a settlement offer that does not fully cover all of these aspects of your injury and damages means you are getting cheated out of what you deserve. You may need to consult with medical experts, vocational experts, economists, and other professionals to accurately assess the value of your claim.

2. The Strength Of Your Evidence & Liability

Another factor to consider before agreeing to a settlement offer is the strength of your evidence and liability. Evidence is solid proof that the other party was at fault for the accident and that your injury was caused by their negligence. This may include:

  • Police reports, witness statements, photos, videos, and other documentation of the accident scene and the circumstances leading up to it.
  • Medical records, bills, receipts, and other documentation of your injury and treatment.
  • Expert opinions, testimonies, and reports that support your claim and refute the other party’s defenses.

There’s the possibility of potential weaknesses or challenges in your case that you should be aware of, such as:

  • Contributory or comparative negligence: This is basically your level of responsibility for the accident and your injury, and your compensation may be reduced accordingly.
  • Statute of limitations: The time limit for filing a claim after the accident. If you miss the deadline, your case might be refuted. The statute of limitations varies across each state, but it’s usually two years from the date of the accident.
  • Policy limits: The insurance company or the liable party may not have enough coverage or assets to pay for your full damages. This implies that you may have to seek compensation from other sources.

Risks & Benefits Of Going To Trial

3. The Risks & Benefits Of Going To Trial

The final factor to consider before agreeing to a settlement offer is the risks and benefits of going to trial. While most personal injury cases are settled out of court, some may require a trial to resolve. Taking your case to trial involves a few pros and cons, like:

  • The time and cost involved in preparing and presenting your case in court: This might vary from a few months to even years and may incur additional fees and expenses.
  • The uncertainty and unpredictability of the outcome: It depends on the jury’s verdict, the judge’s rulings, and the appeals process.
  • The possibility of receiving a higher or lower award than the settlement offer: Solid evidence, convincing arguments, and the presence of witnesses can sway the emotions involved in the trial and influence the verdict.
  • The finality and closure of the resolution: You should be aware that the trial may be more satisfying or disappointing than you expect, depending on the result.

Taking these factors into consideration should help you make a more informed decision on whether you should accept that settlement offer or ask them to shove it…deep in their greedy little pockets.

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