After you've been injured, whether the result of a car accident, while on the job, or due to a slip and fall in a public building, you may be tempted to accept a settlement offer from the other party's insurance company. This may be because you have medical bills that are piling up or because you are facing other expenses and cannot work. While the offer may be tempting, it's never recommended that you accept it without first speaking to an attorney. Consider a few reasons why.
1. The offer may not be very generous or even fair
To you, a settlement offer may seem fair and even very generous, but to an attorney it may seem very poor. Remember that a personal injury attorney knows the standard settlements offered in cases like yours and also knows the amount of judgments awarded by courts. He or she will be a better judge of the amount you're being offered and can know if it should be rejected in favor of something else.
2. You may face future medical bills
A settlement offer may include the outstanding medical bills you have currently, but what about future medical costs? Usually when you sign a settlement agreement you are giving up your right to have these reimbursed by the insurance company.
You might assume that you've been diagnosed with all the injuries you have and know all the medical costs you'll ever face, but some injuries take weeks to appear after an accident. Soft tissue injuries to the muscles may not be readily apparent and they're often difficult for doctors to diagnose. If you were to face future medical bills but signed an agreement now, you would then be liable for those bills. An attorney can negotiate to have those future costs covered by the insurance company even if you accept a settlement offer.
3. Other parties may be liable for your injuries
Once you sign a settlement offer from an insurance company you may assume that your case is over and done with. In truth, there may be other parties that are liable for your injuries. These could include other drivers on the road, a manufacturer of an instrument that was used during surgery, and so on. A good personal injury lawyer will know all the liable parties so he or she can protect your rights and ensure you get the maximum amount of money you deserve for your injuries.Share