Recently, I met with someone who got pretty banged up in a car crash. The impact was enough to land an overnight stay at the hospital.
Unfortunately, within days of the crash and getting out of the hospital, the insurance company for the guy who caused the crash offered her a paltry sum of money. And she took it.
A few weeks later, she called wondering if I might be able to help.
Some of the details were murky, so she and I sat down together to go through everything in more detail. As it turned out, all was not lost for her.
Call attorney for a free consult
Most of the time, though, cashing that insurance company check and signing the release that came with it brings your case to a close.
My most important advice to anyone considering accepting the money an insurance company is offering is to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, take advantage of the FREE consultations personal injury lawyers like me offer.
At our firm, you’ll get our insights and recommendations, which might occasionally even include our suggestion that you can handle your case on your own.
Quite often (arguably more often than not), there are important reasons why a quick settlement is not in your best interest.
Even a few weeks or even months after an injury, it’s likely too soon to settle your claim.
Various things to consider before settling
Here are some of my top reasons why it’s better to give wait:
- First, after an auto accident, Florida’s PIP laws give most medical providers 35 days from the date of treatment to submit their bill for payment to the PIP insurance company; the insurance company then has another 30 days to process and pay the claim. (Some providers such as emergency room doctors have even longer to submit their bills for payment by your PIP). Simply put: So soon after an accident, it’s likely pretty hard to ascertain what your out-of-pocket medical expenses and/or the amount an insurance company may try to offer you to settle your case now are likely going to be.
- Medical bills aside, healing from many of the injuries frequently suffered in a crash takes time. Shortly after a crash, it’s hard to know whether your recovery will be full and complete or less than that. The nature and extent of the injuries suffered and the type of treatment needed are rarely fully known and appreciated soon after the accident.
- Just as your physical injuries often take time to heal, so do the non-economic impacts of being injured in a crash. Those intangibles include the proverbial pain and suffering, along with things like inconvenience (chief among them is attending multiple treatment appointments each week), aggravation (e.g, limits on your ability to perform simple tasks that you previously took for granted) as well as the loss of enjoyment associated with hobbies, activities and other things done for fun.
There's no need to rush
While injury cases have a firm bar to recovery after the statute of limitation expires, that time bar (typically in Florida, the statute of limitation runs four years from the accident date) is far off enough that there’s no need to rush into a settlement offered by the insurance company .
If nothing else, do what my banged-up client did and give me a call. Regardless if you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by another’s carelessness, whether in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, North Port or any place in Florida, you can take advantage the fact that my consultations are always free.