If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit and you received a settlement offer, it can be surprising. Most people do not consider the possibility of settling when they file a lawsuit. So, what should you do if you receive a settlement offer? Most importantly, you should always discuss any settlement offer with your attorney. Beyond that, however, this guide will give you more information about the best approach to any settlement offer.
Get Your Perspective Right
One thing that few people consider is getting their perspective in the right place. Courtroom movies and television portray accepting a settlement as admitting defeat. This is a ridiculous way to view accepting a settlement offer because it is the exact opposite of the truth. Accepting a settlement offer means that the defendant agrees that he or she is at-fault and would like to compensate you without a court demanding it.
On top of that, the vast majority of court cases end in a settlement. You would never know it by looking at the media, but it is actually pretty rare for a court case to continue to its natural conclusion. As soon as it looks like one side is going to win the case, it is smart for the other side to present a settlement offer immediately.
The Advantage of Accepting a Settlement
So should you accept an offer? Settlements are usually a little less than what you would receive if the lawsuit ended naturally. However, you have to weigh the amount you are potentially missing out on against your time and legal fees. Ending a lawsuit early will save you time and money, so it may be a good idea to accept. Your attorney can give you more information about how appealing a particular settlement offer is and potentially recommend countering with an offer of your own.
When You Should Reject an Offer
There are only three situations where you should reject a settlement offer:
- You have not discussed it with your attorney yet
- You have not finished your medical treatment yet
- The offer is not appealing
First, never accept any settlement offer before discussing it with your attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, MN. It may not be as appealing as you think. Second, never accept a settlement offer if you are still receiving medical treatment. You cannot know how much your bills will be, so you cannot know if the offer is good. Finally, your attorney can help you decide whether or not an offer is really any good.
Thank you to the experts at Johnston | Martineau PLLP for their input into personal injury law.