Personal injury cases can take a lot of time to settle in court, especially if there’s a lot of damages to be taken into account. This is why most victims usually choose the easy way out and decide to settle with insurance companies.
After all, that process means that they’re escaping legal and court fees in favor of a rather large lump sum. It might seem the right decision, but as your injury attorney will tell you – it’s never what it looks like!
Here are the main reasons you should think twice before accepting settlements – or not accepting them at all!
Ideal Medical Improvement
As you know, the cost of the medical bills will have to be paid by the insurance company if the court rules in your favor. Obviously, if you settle before you are at maximum recovery, then you’re missing out on some cash!
Insurance companies might make use of the fact that you probably cannot pay your medical bills right now and will offer a bad settlement that would take you out of difficulties. Later on, you’d find out that you could’ve got much more out of your case!
If the insurance company has to pay you quite a lot of money, they’ll rely on delay strategies. Keep in mind that, while you have an idea of the damages that you may be awarded, the insurance company will perform thorough research to find out the certain amount that they may have to pay you.
If their research rounds up a large sum, they’ll try to delay the court case up to the point where you will simply agree to their settlement offer.
Naturally, we don’t mean hidden in an illegal way!
Evidence vital to your personal injury case or simply some facts that have not yet been discovered could even triple your awards. What happens if you accept an un-timely settlement? You potentially pass on future events that may turn the case in your favor and, as mentioned, award you more money.
Insurance companies will often rush with a settlement offer for you, precisely so that you don’t give enough time to the authorities, investigators, and lawyers to properly assess your case and damages!
The Discharge Form
Once you agree to a settlement offer, you don’t receive the money you’re promised immediately. Before that, you have to sign a discharge form – and that’s everything the insurance company wants you to do!
In short, the discharge form mentions that you, the victim, will receive a certain sum of money and that you’ll also waive the right to your claim and free the insurance company of all liability, damages, expenses, interest, and so on!
The Bottom Line
No matter when a direct settlement offer comes, keep in mind that – in most cases – the insurance company wants to pay you the smallest amount they have to and simply escape liability for your claim.
This is how insurance companies work. While the person handing you the offer may really care about you and your condition, they are instructed to protect the company’s interests and funds – and they’ll do so!