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What to Know About an Initial Settlement Offer

Resolving a personal injury case can take several months to several years. In some cases, a favorable outcome may be reached by settling outside of court as opposed to going to trial. However, even if you choose to settle a case, it may not be a good idea to accept the first offer that you receive.

The First Offer Is Likely Less Than What You’re Owed

The first settlement offer made in a personal injury case is often less than the amount to which a person may be entitled under state law. Typically, an insurance company or another party that is liable for the damages wants to resolve the matter while paying the smallest amount possible. The goal is to use your perceived need to pay medical and other bills quickly as leverage. Instead of panicking, it may be a good idea to consult with local personal injury lawyers.

You May Not Know the Full Extent of Your Injuries

It is likely that you won’t know the full extent of your injuries for days or weeks after an accident occurs. What may seem to be minor muscle strains or sprains immediately after a fall or car accident could turn out to be whiplash or other more serious injuries. Head injuries could also have a lasting impact on your ability to work, go to school or function in society.

Don’t Let Someone Else Decide Your Future

If the parties responsible for your injuries won’t engage in good faith settlement talks, a personal injury trial can take place. A judge or jury may review the evidence in the case and make a decision relating to the compensation to which you are entitled. In the event that a favorable settlement offer is made, you are free to accept it and end the case before the trial concludes.