If you have recently been involved in an injury that was due to someone else's negligence, there's a chance that the responsible party's insurance company has offered you a settlement. It might be tempting to go ahead and take the settlement now so that you can have cash in your pocket -- especially if you are struggling for cash due to an inability to work after your injury -- but it isn't always a good idea to do so. These are a few signs that you may want to say no to a settlement.
1. It's Not Enough to Cover Your Medical Expenses
The medical expenses that can come from an injury can be quite expensive when you factor in doctor's bills, hospital bills, the cost of prescriptions and other associated expenses. You shouldn't be stuck paying any of these expenses yourself, so think twice before you accept a settlement that will not cover your past, current and future injury-related medical bills.
2. It Doesn't Cover Your Time Missed from Work
Along with worrying about your medical bills, you also have to think about the other expenses that you have incurred and the other financial difficulties that you might have gone through since your injury occurred. You might be behind on your bills and could be facing other difficulties due to not being able to work since you were hurt, for example. Make sure that you consider these costs -- and what it will take for you to get caught back up -- before accepting a settlement.
3. You Haven't Gone Over it With an Attorney
In some cases, insurance companies try to take advantage of individuals who have been injured. They often know that injured individuals are going through tough financial situations and are facing a mountain of bills, and they sometimes try to take advantage of that by offering a quick settlement for much less than the person deserves. This is why it's always smart to go over the settlement offer -- and the details of your accident -- with an attorney who has experience in personal injury law. Then, he or she can advise you as to whether or not the settlement is fair or whether you should pursue the case further.
In some cases, accepting a settlement can be a good idea. In others, however, it might not be the best decision. If you are unsure, it's always a good idea to work with a personal injury lawyer, like Dunnigan & Messier P.C., so that you can get professional legal advice that is tailored to your situation.