Is It Time To Accept An Injury Settlement?

Posted on: 1 July 2020

One of the biggest challenges a personal injury attorney and a client will face is determining when it's time to accept a settlement. This isn't an easy question to address, and it's important to look at the problem from several angles. Here are three things a personal injury lawyer will want to consider.

Are All of Your Injuries Known?

By far the scariest possibility in accepting a settlement is the chance that an undiscovered injury will appear after you've taken the money. There is almost no way in American law to get a second crack at a settlement or judgment once your case has been concluded. In other words, once you take the money, you had better be prepared to make it last as long as you require financial support.

For this reason, a personal injury attorney usually wants to give a case some time. They'll wait for reports to come back from doctors. Likewise, they may encourage a client to wait for things like swelling to go down. It may even be necessary to seek exploratory surgery to identify nitpicky issues that might not create bigger problems until many years later.

Is the Settlement Sufficient?

Depending on the injuries you've suffered, you may need to pay for a lot of different things for a long time. In the most extreme cases, clients may be looking at years or even decades of needing life-sustaining medical equipment. How much money is that going to cost? Will you be able to keep up with inflation?

You have to think about the worst and longest recovery scenario, especially if your body isn't bouncing back quickly. If you're worried that you might need money to cover prescriptions and medical devices 20 years from now, that's going to require a fairly sizable settlement.

Have You Reached Maximum Recovery?

Maximum recovery doesn't mean full recovery. For many folks, full recovery isn't in the cards. Instead, this means your body has recovered close to as much as it's likely going to.

Maximum recovery is desirable for several reasons. First, you'll have a better sense of what your medical condition is going to be for years to come. Second, you should have some sense of whether you'll ever be able to work again. Third, you'll understand which life activities you have either lost or will experience in a diminished fashion. Taken together, this knowledge will help you pursue a more well-rounded settlement.