#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.”
Oftentimes, adjusters will say to people who are injured in a motor vehicle collision is, “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 now right away, that you’re not going to get more money if you settle later or it makes no difference if you settle right away or later. The problem is they are taking your eye off of 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 collisions have full recoveries within 3 or 4 months. The problem is, if you settle your case before you are done treating and you happen to be one of those people who either do not have a complete recovery or wind up treating longer than you or even your providers anticipated, you cannot renegotiate your 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, “Hey let’s go ahead and settle the case now, we’ll offer you x amount of dollars to settle it.” You should simply say to them, “Thank you very much, I would rather wait until I’m done treating before I settle my case.” This is a perfectly reasonable position to take. When the insurance company is trying to get your case to settle early, that is not a reasonable position for you. The reason they’re pushing 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.
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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