Personal injury victim writing on a paper

5 Reasons Why You May Not Want to Accept Your Personal Injury Settlement Right Away

By Greg Kohn

Engaging in settlement negotiations with insurance companies and other parties may consume large quantities of time and energy. However, it can be worth it to hold on to accepting the first settlement offer you receive. Numerous variables can affect whether or not you should wait for additional settlement offers or proceed to trial. In this post, our New Jersey personal injury attorney breaks down the reasons you may want to pass on that first offer.

1: The Insurance Company Is Offering You a Low Settlement Offer

Insurance companies are for-profit enterprises, and they are not interested in offering you a reasonable settlement offer. In fact, insurance claim adjusters and other insurance company representatives may attempt to offer you extremely low settlement amounts. Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney who may be able to participate in settlement negotiations and obtain a higher settlement offer in your case. 

2: The Injured Party May Suffer Additional Injuries

You should never accept a settlement offer if you are still undergoing medical treatment or surgical procedures associated with your injuries. You need to finish your medical treatment and determine your total damages amount before you accept any settlement offer from an insurance company or from another party. If it is possible that you will still need medical care for your injuries, then you need to wait to accept any settlement offer regarding your accident claim. 

3: You Will Lose Your Right to Seek Financial Compensation 

Once you accept a settlement offer, you will have to sign a settlement agreement. This agreement is a contract between you and the other party with whom you are settling. Essentially, you are releasing them from all future liability regarding the incident, and you cannot relitigate claims once you accept the settlement offer. It is important that you speak to a knowledgeable attorney before you accept any settlement offer. You may be offered a settlement offer early on in your conversions with the insurance company. Do not fall for the trap of accepting a premature settlement offer and losing your right to litigate your legal claims. 

4: It Is Possible You Do Not Understand All the Facets of Your Personal Injury Case

If you went to the hospital immediately after the accident, and you have no information about the other driver who caused your injuries, then you may have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident. In this case, you need to work with an attorney, a private investigator, and law enforcement officers to determine the location of the individual who fled the accident scene. 

It is unlawful for an individual to flee from an accident scene and leave an injured party to their own devices. Therefore, do not accept a settlement offer until you are privy to all the facts associated with your injury case. 

5: Obtain Legal Representation if You Do Not Have an Attorney

Some prospective clients are presented with settlement offers. Still, they do not have an attorney to advise them on their legal rights and whether accepting a particular settlement offer is in their best interest. Therefore, if you suffered injuries during an accident and you are debating whether or not to accept a settlement offer, the first thing you should do is seek out a personal injury attorney who can help you with your case. 

Dealing with civil litigation on your own can be overwhelming. However, with the assistance of a skilled attorney, you can have a better chance of obtaining monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today to learn more.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.