Key Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Settlement
Accident injuries can have a profound impact on a person’s life. If you have been injured and believe it was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Settlements typically include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other accident-related losses.
After an injurious event in Clearwater, Hudson, or Tampa, an at-fault party or their insurance representative may offer you a settlement and work to resolve the matter quickly. Before accepting settlement terms, contact a legal representative so you understand what questions to ask in order to make an informed decision.
What Are My Total Damages?
Understanding the full extent of your losses is essential, because once you accept a settlement, you are not able to ask for more funds for damages you hadn’t considered earlier. There are often more expenses than injured parties realize, a lawyer will walk you through all of your accident losses, including immediate expenses, such as medical bills and property damage, and the long-term costs.
An experienced injury lawyer can help you calculate and assess the true value of your claim, which is particularly important for individuals who will be accessing future treatments. Having the correct expert analysis means you won’t find yourself paying for expenses later that someone else should be responsible for.
Will the Settlement Cover Lost Wages and Emotional Distress?
If recovering from your injuries has meant taking time off from your job or has impacted your ability to earn a living moving forward, the settlement should include compensation for lost wages and potential future earning losses. This process should not be taken lightly, because the sum may not simply be the hours at work you lost but could include your career trajectory.
And beyond the bills and lost wages, you may also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. This is true if you have experienced emotional distress, physical pain, and diminished quality of life due to the accident injury. Pain and suffering damages fall under the category of non-economic damages and are assessed differently than financial losses.
Have I Reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
Another factor to consider is if you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is essentially determining if you have recovered as much as reasonably expected or that your condition has stabilized. Choosing to settle before reaching MMI is risky as it may result in inadequate compensation if your injuries worsen or require additional treatments. The exception would be if the terms of your settlement allow you to access additional compensation at a later date.
While it’s possible to handle a settlement negotiation without a lawyer, when questions arrive consulting with a skilled Florida personal injury lawyer is a way to protect your interests. Experienced attorneys are familiar with navigating legal complexities, can accurately evaluate the value of your claim, and will negotiate for you so a full and fair damage recovery amount can be accessed.
Were you offered a settlement? Before agreeing to settlement terms, connect with over 100 years of combined experience. Talk to the attorneys at Roman & Roman. Book your fee-free, no-obligation consultation today.
Although the law firm of Roman & Roman has offices in Clearwater, Hudson and Tampa, we handle cases and claims throughout Florida. We also meet personally with our clients if at all possible, rather than impersonally over the phone or on the Internet.