By Omid Rejali, Esq.
More and more in my practice I see cases being settled by other lawyers early on when they shouldn’t be. Although, each case is different and there sometimes may be good reasons to settle your case early, it is generally not a good idea to do so.
Here are three important reasons why you should not settle your San Diego car accident case early.
1) The full extent of your injuries could be unknown: Once your San Diego car accident case is settled, there is no coming back. That is a settlement of all time, and you can not come back and ask for more money, even if you later find out about an injury related to the same claim you settled. Depending on your injuries, it may take some time for the doctors to determine what the full extent of your injuries may be. Not to mention, you also want to make sure that you have seen the right specialists for your injuries. For example, the typical scenario in a San Diego car accident case would be you going to a chiropractor for a couple of sessions and that’s it. However, you may still have pain in your neck that has not been fully resolved.
If that is your case, it is important for you to see a specialist like an orthopedic surgeon who can further look into your injuries and most likely order imaging studies such as MRIs to be able to fully understand the full extent of your injuries. So, make sure before you settle your case, that you fully understand the extent of your injuries so you can be able to get all the money that you are entitled to, not only for the past, but also for your future medical care, and pain and suffering.
2) An early settlement, although more appealing, generally yields in less money: Insurance companies and unfortunately some attorneys are looking to settle your claim as early as possible so that they can move onto the next claim. One factor that is being taken into consideration in an early settlement is the value of money. The way they are looking at it is less money to you right now, may be worth more to you, than more money down the line. Although that may be true in some situations, in my experience the later you settle your case, again depending on the extent of your injuries, the more money you will be able to get from the insurance company. It is your health after all, and you should not settle it for cheap.
3) Liability can shift: What I mean by liability is whether or not the person is accepting responsibility for their actions. Many times, when the insurance company knows that its potential exposure is high, they take unreasonable stances on purposes and deny responsibility for the claim, in the hopes that you will drop your case, or to accept less money. This is a tactic played all too often by the insurance companies and their attorneys. If this is your case, and you wholeheartedly believe that you have no fault for the accident, do not settle your case. Generally, the insurance company changes its position as it gets closer to the day it is facing a jury, and at that time decide to increase what they are offering you.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Don’t let the insurance company bully you around and frustrate you by their unreasonable and unfounded positions. If you need help feel free to text me at 619-485-6313 or call my office at 619-887-4148 or fill out the form on our website here and we will contact you.