At Heintz & Becker, our attorneys have decades of experience representing personal injury clients.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in helping clients decide whether to accept or reject a settlement claim.
There are several factors that influence a settlement decision. Below, the legal team at Heintz & Becker explains some factors in more detail so you can make the best possible decision for yourself and your family.
Factors to Consider
The settlement amount you receive is dependent on several factors, some of which are out of your control. Therefore, it’s crucial to know where to focus your attention.
One of the most important things to consider is potential financial loss. While it’s easy to calculate lost wages or past medical bills, it’s much harder to anticipate how an injury could impact a person’s life ten years in the future.
To determine that amount, consider the following:
- How will the injury impact your ability to maintain the same job or aspire to better employment?
- Can you still enjoy physical activities like working out or playing with the kids?
- How might the injury affect your ability to travel long distances?
- Are there health concerns that commonly develop as a result of the injury?
- What might your medical bills look like if symptoms suddenly get worse?
Other factors that could impact your decision might hinge on what evidence is available and/or viable, should the claim become a lawsuit or go to trial. For example:
- Are there witnesses available? Have they provided statements supporting your claim?
- Is there an official police report? Does the report support your account of what happened?
- Is there medical documentation that corroborates your injury and its impact on your life?
- Did you admit fault in past interviews with insurance companies?
As you can see, there are lots of ways things can go awry, and one misstep could significantly impact your ability to collect a comprehensive settlement.
Remember, the insurance company doesn’t work for you—insurance companies are for-profit businesses! They’re not interested in your pain or suffering; they’ll do everything in their power to pay as little as possible.
In some ways, knowing when to reject a settlement offer is just as important as knowing when to accept a good one.
When to Deny a Settlement
It’s common practice for insurance companies to deny legitimate claims. While this may seem unfair, it’s a useful strategy. Many victims give up when a claim is rejected, forfeiting their rights and compensation.
The insurance company may also argue:
- That you’re partially or completely to blame for the accident (even when it’s not true or the accident’s cause is unknown)
- The injury sustained doesn’t justify the settlement total
- Lack of documentation (e.g., police reports, medical records, etc.) reduces what they’re allowed to offer
- Expenses you claim are not related to the injury or accident
Once you’ve signed paperwork agreeing to accept a settlement from an insurance company, there’s no turning back. That’s why it’s so important to think progressively about your injury or loss.
In many cases, it’s in the victim’s best interest to contact an injury lawyer, to ensure a fair settlement amount. Working with an experienced injury lawyer has also been proven to increase settlement totals.
When to Find a Lawyer
If you feel like the insurance companies aren’t listening, or if you’re too injured to negotiate a fair settlement, call the Florida injury lawyers at Heintz & Becker for a FREE consultation.
Even if you don’t think you can afford a lawyer, give us a call. Our attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. Plus, with Heintz & Becker on the job, victims can focus their energy on recovery rather than hostile insurance adjusters.