Watch Out! After a serious injury, victims are sometimes approached by the at-fault party’s insurer and offered a prompt settlement. It is nearly always a mistake to settle quickly, especially if the injury is on-going or will have long-term consequences.
There are usually many insurance claims to sort out to achieve full and fair compensation. Almost never should an injured person try to do an injury settlement themselves without help from a skilled personal injury attorney. It is too easy to make a mistake or be taken advantage of. For example:
- You can only settle with the at-fault insurer once. Once you accept a check and sign a release you cannot reopen the claim even if you made a mistake, have further bills, or your medical problems worsen.
- Insurers will not pay for long-term problems until doctors confirm a long-term problem over many months. So, if you settle quickly, you can’t be compensated for long-term consequences.
- In Minnesota, for most cases, there are several layers of insurance available to the injured person, but they need to be preserved, with the settlement done in the correct order with correct notice to the other insurers. If you do it wrong on your own, usually that cannot be fixed.
Insurers like to settle quickly, not because it is fair, but because they can often resolve the case cheaper when the injured person does not understand all they may claim, is vulnerable, and needs money.
Do Not Negotiate Alone
When you are trying to secure compensation for your injuries, insurance companies may also try to convince you to leave lawyers out of it, as they “only slow things down.” The truth is that a skilled personal injury attorney can be the difference between a small settlement and the one you deserve. If you are trying to get the compensation you deserve, contact a personal injury attorney you can trust to fight for you.