You should never accept a settlement offer for your personal injury claim until you have completed the medical treatment. This is because you will not know the full extent of the treatment you might require and the total costs you might incur until you have completely recovered.
Severe or catastrophic injuries may require multiple surgeries, long-term medical treatment, extended physical therapy appointments, and other rehab measures. You would not be able to file another claim for any costs incurred due to the injury if you accept a settlement offer from an insurer in haste.
Seek Prompt and Appropriate Medical Treatment
The first thing you should do following a personal injury accident is to receive medical treatment. You should take a trip to the local hospital or emergency room even if you don’t think you have suffered any major injuries.
There are certain injuries (such as internal organ injuries or traumatic brain injury) that may not present any apparent symptoms in the initial stages. You would need a doctor to perform imaging tests and physical examinations to identify the injuries you suffered and advise the most appropriate treatment strategy and follow-up.
Wait Till Maximum Medical Improvement
You should refrain from accepting injury settlements until you have completed your medical treatment. This is because you won’t know the total medical cost till you have achieved maximum medical improvement. Many injuries become worse over time, even when they seem to be healing. Additional treatment may be required for compensating for any complications.
For instance, knee injuries may require multiple surgeries and medical solutions. You won’t be able to receive money for additional treatments if you settle after the first procedure. Never enter a negotiation with the insurance company without preparing a strong case first. This is especially true when you have suffered expensive damages.
Several factors come into play when calculating the total medical costs, such as recovery timelines, the severity of the injury, length of injury, impact on the victim’s life, and treatments. You shouldn’t settle until you decide the total cost of all factors.
Prolonged Medical Treatment and Care May be Required in Certain Bodily Injuries
It’s critical to be patient in seeking compensation for your medical treatment. Many personal injury victims become tired of waiting for settlement. Traumatic brain injuries and other similarly severe injuries require years of treatment. There is no clock on settling for a claim as long as you have filed within the statute of limitations. You can wait for maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement offer.
A majority of insurance companies offer early settlements for lowering the overall cost. The insurance company will send an insurance adjuster for meeting you once you have filed the personal injury claim. They will investigate the accident and identify ways of limiting your entitled settlement. Many insurance adjusters ask tricky or open-ended questions and use the answers against the claimant as an admission of fault.
Insurance companies tend to make settlement offers early in the hopes the claimant would accept them. These are usually lowball offers that may prove to be an example of insurance bad faith. Stemming from this, they are within legal bounds. It’s common for victims of personal injury to accept any offer that comes their way because they need money to pay medical bills.
Moreover, you should remember that the financial aid offered is probably not enough for covering the full extent of your injuries and damages. You should accept a settlement offer only when you know the complete cost of your medical treatment and have attained maximum medical improvement.
Situations in Which You Might Accept Early Settlement
You may not require extensive medical treatment if you suffered only minor injuries. Your medical treatment may already be complete by the time the insurance company makes an offer. You should ask your attorney to determine whether the offer made is fair and good enough to be accepted.
You need to ensure that there are no further health complications before accepting the offer. You should speak with your doctor regarding any further complications related to the injuries. Do not accept the settlement offer if your doctor says there is a chance of further complications that may require medical treatment.
You should consult an attorney even if your doctor says there are no further treatments necessary. The attorney will use the available evidence to prepare a strong claim and negotiate for the maximum possible settlement with the insurers. Early offers are usually on the lower end intentionally. Insurance companies leave little room for further negotiations.
Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury lawyers are trained to fight off the pressure that insurance companies typically apply on injured victims to accept lowball settlement offers. Your attorney will help ensure that the settlement offer is fair and adequate for compensating for medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and other damages suffered during the accident.
The lawyer will suggest accepting the offer only after including all possible damages from all possible liable parties. Personal injury attorneys can take the claim to trial if the insurance company is adamant about not offering a fair settlement. They will prepare a strong case to prove the liability of the at-fault parties in order to get your rightful compensation.
Get Legal Representation from Reliable and Client-Focused Personal Injury Attorneys in Alabama
Alabama attorney Frank M. Wilson along with his dedicated legal team can help you recover maximum damages by pursuing your personal injury claim with strong evidence. You can claim for lost wages, future loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering, on top of your full medical costs. To set up your free consultation, call us at (334) 420-2931 or reach us online.