After being injured and putting together a claim for compensation, the opportunity to settle can come with mixed emotions. It can be difficult to know when the best time to settle is, but sometimes it is more beneficial to take a settlement than to drag out the matter any longer.
Whether you’ve been in a traffic accident, are making a claim for medical negligence, are claiming workers compensation or were injured in a public place, here is what to consider when you are faced with an opportunity to settle.
What are the consequences of settling at the wrong time?
It is important to settle at the right time to ensure you are getting the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Settling too soon or too late could mean the offer is no longer available or has been reduced and if the matter is not settled out of court, the legal costs could mount up and eventually eat into any settlement you do receive.
How can I avoid settling my personal injury claim at the wrong time?
The best way to manage your claim for compensation is to engage the help of a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer with experience in this field will assist you from end-to-end, including collating crucial information, ensuring critical timelines are met and liaising and negotiating with the insurance company.
What should I ask my personal injury lawyer before I decide to settle?
Depending on your personal situation, the type of injury you have and the type of compensation you are pursuing, you may want to ask your personal injury lawyer some of the following questions:
- What is the time limit of this offer?
- Is this their final offer?
- What is included in the offer?
- What will happen if I decline the offer?
- Do any deductions come out of the offer? If so, how much do they amount to?
- How much am I actually entitled to?
- What are the risks of accepting this offer?
- How much longer would it take to resolve my claim if I reject the offer?
- What will the additional legal fees amount to if I do not accept the offer now?
- As my lawyer, what are your thoughts about the offer?
Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company can be daunting and is not something people do often, in fact some may never have this experience in their lifetime, so it is important that you feel entirely comfortable with your decision.
Your personal injury lawyer is the best person to guide you towards a decision and while they cannot make the decision for you, they are able to answer your questions based on their experience. A personal injury lawyer will know if the offer seems too low or, if it does not include everything it should; for example, if you have a life-altering, permanent injury then you may be entitled to a lump sum compensation and if this is not included it may not be worth settling just yet.
Your lawyer will also be able to let you know if the claim is worth pursuing further. Rejecting an offer of settlement means that the matter will go to court. You may have a chance of being offered a higher sum, but the legal fees will increase due to the extra time it takes to pursue the claim in the court, and therefore it may be more financially beneficial (not to mention less stressful) to take a settlement before it reaches that stage.
If you have been injured and you want to pursue a claim for compensation, our personal injury lawyers can assist. Alternatively, if you have been injured and did not seek legal advice after the accident but have been made an offer of settlement by an insurer, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. To speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today, please contact our office on (07) 4052 0760.