5 Things To Know Before Accepting A Personal Injury Settlement
Getting injured in an accident is already a distressing experience, but it can quickly become overwhelming when dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of the accident. If you received a settlement offer for your personal injury, it may be tempting to accept it immediately to relieve the financial burden.
Consider speaking with our Maryland personal injury attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross LLP to discuss your best course of action if the insurance company made a settlement offer.
What You Should Know Before Accepting a Personal Injury Settlement Offer
Before saying yes to a personal injury settlement offer, there are five things you should know:
1. The Insurance Company May Be Lowballing You
It is common for insurance companies to offer low settlement amounts right after an accident. They often do this because they know many people are in dire financial straits. Remember, the insurance company is a business, and its goal is to pay the least amount possible for your injuries. Be sure to consult with an attorney to determine if the offer is reasonable.
2. Your Injuries May Be More Serious Than You Think
It is essential to keep in mind that some injuries may take time to appear after an accident. Accepting a settlement too soon might mean that you receive less compensation if your symptoms turn out to be more severe than expected. It is crucial to wait until a medical professional provides a full examination of your physical state and prognosis before accepting any offer.
3. You Have a Right to Reject the Offer and Negotiate a Higher Settlement Amount
You do not have to accept the initial offer given to you by the insurance company no matter what the insurer tells you. Instead, consult with an experienced attorney who can evaluate the value of your case and negotiate on your behalf. Keep in mind that you are entitled to fair and adequate compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
4. Settlement Agreements are Final and Binding
If you decide to accept a settlement offer, it is crucial to keep in mind that once you sign the agreement, it becomes a final and binding contract. It means you waive any further legal actions you can take against the other party. This is why it is essential to consult with an attorney to ensure that you understand the legal consequences before signing any settlement agreement.
5. You Will Not Be Able to Recover More if You Accept the Settlement Offer Now
If you accept a settlement offer, you cannot ask for additional compensation in the future. By accepting the offer, you give up your right to sue. Because there is a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you have no reason to hurry with the decision to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101, injured victims in Maryland have three years to sue the negligent party for their injury and recover damages.
Suppose an injury was not covered in the settlement agreement or a new symptom turns up after you sign the contract. In that case, you will not be able to recover additional compensation for these expenses. Seek legal assistance before accepting any settlement offer to avoid such situations.
Considering Accepting a Settlement Offer? Speak with an Attorney First.
You need to understand the potential consequences of accepting a personal injury settlement offer before making any decisions. When you have a clear understanding of the situation and the potential outcomes of your decisions, you are likely to make the best and most informed decision that protect your interests and welfare. Consider speaking with our knowledgeable attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross LLP to discuss your particular situation. Request a free case evaluation by calling 800-248-3352.