Key Questions to Assess with Your Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement
When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Clearwater, Hudson, or Tampa, an Insurance company may quickly present you with a settlement offer. Before you sign on the dotted line, assess an offer carefully. When questions and concerns arise, consult with a Florida injury lawyer to protect your interests.
Is the Offer Fair and Full?
One first and most fundamental question your attorney will review with you is whether an insurance company’s settlement offer is fair and adequate. Your lawyer will evaluate the full value of your claim and look over the settlement offer to be sure it covers all medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term consequences of your injury.
For instance, not only your current medical expenses but also any future medical costs related to your injury need to be included in an offer in order for the compensation to be full and fair. An attorney can help you estimate future expenses to ensure that the settlement covers all your medical needs.
The dollar amount of an insurance adjuster’s offer is usually based upon a number of factors including the dollar amount of past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and surgical procedures involved, to name a few. Whether an offer is sufficient or fair, has nothing to do with what an injured person wants to use the money for, such as paying off a home mortgage, or paying for a child’s college education for example.
What Are the Tax Implications?
A large amount of money, such as an insurance settlement, can have tax implications. Depending on the nature of the compensation, there may be tax issues to review. An attorney can help you understand the tax consequences of accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer. It is possible for some parts of a settlement to be taxable while others remain tax free.
Are There Any Liens?
In some cases, third parties, such as healthcare providers, may have a claim to a portion of your settlement. Liens are put in place in certain situations in order for an individual or organization to cover costs incurred on your behalf. Lawyers can help you investigate and address any potential liens on your settlement. This process could affect the amount you receive so it is an instrumental part of the process.
Is There Room for Negotiation?
If there is the possibility of negotiation, your attorney can go through that process on your behalf, working with the opposing party or insurance company to potentially improve the settlement offer. A Florida personal injury lawyer who has successfully improved compensation packages for past clients will notice settlement contract terms that need to be reworked, and they know when pursuing a better deal is possible.
Accepting a settlement should not be taken lightly, it is a critical decision that can have far-reaching consequences for your future. When making important legal and financial choices, having expertise is invaluable. Lawyers are available to assess a settlement’s adequacy and advocate for you throughout the process. Ultimately, your goal should be securing a settlement that provides for your medical needs, compensates you for your losses, and supports your recovery moving forward.
Were you recently offered a settlement? Before agreeing to a legally-binding agreement, consult with an injury lawyer to ensure you fully understand the terms, implications, and fairness of the offer. Review your settlement with the legal team at Roman & Roman to have over 100 years of combined experience on your side. Schedule your 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.