#1 MISTAKE: Settling your personal injury case before you’re done treating from your car accident
QUESTION: What should I do before settling my personal injury case?
ANSWER: The most important thing to do before settling your personal injury case is to complete your medical treatment. Having a full recovery is what’s most essential. If the adjuster wants to settle your case before you’re done treating, simply say, “I’d like to wait until I’m done treating before I settle.”
The first biggest mistake you can make following a car accident is settling your personal injury claim before you’re done treating from your injuries from the accident.
Oftentimes, adjusters will say to people who are injured in an auto accident, “Hey, let’s go ahead and settle your case”, and they will make you an offer. They may tell you that your case is going to go away if you don’t settle right away, that you’re not going to get more money if you settle later, or that makes no difference if you settle right away or later.
This is a tactic to distract you and have you take your eye off the most important ball, and that is getting the medical treatment you need to have a full recovery. And secondly, they are looking out to protect their employers’ pocketbook — the insurance company.
Most of the time, people who are injured in car accidents have full recoveries within three or four months. The problem is, if you settle your case before you’re done with your treatments and you happen to be one of those people who either does not have a complete recovery or you wind up treating longer than you or even your providers anticipated, you cannot renegotiate your personal injury claim settlement.
Once you’ve settled your case, that’s it. There’s no going back to make sure that you were treated fairly in the settlement.
So if an adjuster says to you, “Let’s go ahead and settle the case now, we’ll offer you $XXX dollars to settle it.” You should simply say to them, “Thank you very much, I would rather wait until I’ve completed my medical treatment before settling my case.” This is a perfectly reasonable position to take and one of the ways you can protect yourself and your personal injury claim.
When the insurance company is trying to get you to settle your case early, that is not what’s best for you or your claim. The reason they’re pushing you to settle is because it’s a good deal for them because they will have settled your claim for way less than if you’d waited until you were fully recovered.
If you don’t settle your claim early — before you’ve recovered from your accident, your claim is not going to go away and you’re not going to get less money later.
What is most important is taking care of yourself, getting the medical treatment you need, and then settling your case when you are done treating.
We’ll help you determine whether you have a case and if you need an attorney. It doesn’t make sense to hire a lawyer if you don’t need one.
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