The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled. This saves time and litigation costs while providing victims with more direct and timely access to the financial resources that they need. That might sound appealing to you, but you should be warry before accepting any settlement offer made by a driver or their insurance company.
Why? Simply put, the other side is only looking out for its own interests. This means that it’s trying to find a way out of the case by paying you just enough to get you to stay quiet and put the matter to rest. This means they are actively trying to pay you less than what your claim is worth. Don’t fall prey to their sneaky tactics.
Don’t get us wrong. It might be completely appropriate to settle your case. But before you do so, you really need to analyze the facts of your claim to determine which course of action is going to put you in the best position to protect your future.
How to analyze your settlement offer
Before you take action to accept or decline a settlement offer, you should analyze your case thoroughly. This includes taking a deep dive on each of the following aspects of your claim:
- The extent of your damages: Although it’s hard to conceive, a price has to be put on your personal injury claim. You can calculate this by looking at your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Until you have that number, you can’t really determine if a settlement offer provides you with the financial relief that you deserve.
- Evidence of comparative negligence: Under Texas law, your personal injury recovery can be reduced if you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident. In fact, your claim can be completely barred if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault. So, you’ll need to assess the evidence at hand to see how the defense might use it to their advantage. If it looks like they’re going to have a strong argument for comparative negligence, you’ll need to take that into account as you assess a settlement offer.
- Your need for support: A lot of settlement offers are accepted prematurely simply because the victim needs immediate financial support. Your immediate needs and financial reserves may come into play in your case. But keep in mind that there may be other options out there to help you bridge the gap between when the accident occurred and your ultimate recovery. This might include exploring a hospital lien or even a personal injury lawsuit loan.
- Your likelihood of success at trial: This seems like an obvious analysis to make, but you’ll still want to make sure that you’re being diligent in assessing the strength of your case. This can help provide you with some direction as far as whether you should settle your case or if you’re in a better position to recover more compensation by litigating your claim.
Seek out the help you need as you navigate your case
The outcome of your case can set your financial stage for a long time to come. With that in mind, you can’t leave your claim to chance or in the hands of an inadequate attorney. If you want to increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome and recovering the compensation that you need, now is the time to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney who has proven successful in handling these kinds of cases.