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A Closer Look At Accepting Settlements

A gavel hovering over a check reading SettlementThanks to its high population of more than 19 million, and its huge tourist numbers that exceeded 40 million visitors in 2013, Florida roads are among the busiest in the nation. Unfortunately, that also means that they’re much more likely to be home to traffic accidents. More than 281,000 crashes occur on Florida roads each year, a rate that equals out to roughly 770 accidents per day.

If you’re involved in an accident on a Florida road, you will likely need to determine who is responsible for it and whether or not you deserve compensation for your injuries and your property damages. Generally, you won’t be dealing with the other party. Instead, you’ll be trying to get your restitution from the insurance company representing the other party. At times, this can be one of the most frustrating and difficult things you’ll ever do – especially since you’ll be struggling to recover physically, trying to deal with new medical bills, and more. A settlement offered by an insurance carrier can seem like a great thing, but a closer look is warranted.

First of all, you should realize that in many instances it’s actually in the best interests of the insurance company to settle out of court as well. Insurance companies will do all that they can to avoid having to pay a dime more than they have to, and by offering you a settlement they’re essentially trying to avoid paying you what you could deserve. This issue is much more common when you don’t have a personal injury lawyer on your side, since they see you as easier to take advantage of.

Also, remember that the terms of a settlement will almost always mean that you give up all rights to get any future medical compensation. Accepting a settlement will mean that:

  • You are responsible for paying out of pocket for all injuries related to the accident.
  • You are responsible for paying out of pocket for all medications related to your injury

Those two things are for good, too. No matter if you have medical issues for the next 30 years because of your injuries, the costs will be yours to bear and yours alone. Physical therapy, medications, and even surgery will often drain your settlement amount almost instantly, leaving you to face the future on your own.

It isn’t just the case with traffic accidents, either. Worker’s compensation injuries, slip and fall injuries, and any other type of injury you may sustain will all be the same. Once you accept the settlement amount, you give up any rights to future assistance.

Obviously, it’s a great thing for an insurance company when you accept their settlement offer. And they can use language that makes you feel as though it’s your only real option following an accident, essentially leading you towards taking the money. But when you have an experienced trial attorney on your side, things change. The settlement you are offered may be much larger when a lawyer can negotiate the terms for you. And if your case goes to trial, you’ll have a professional who will fight the insurance company for you. That makes a big difference, and helps you get the kind of compensation you’re really owed.

We help our clients settle for millions of dollars every year, and have more than 100 years’ experience in the field of personal injury. Our offices are conveniently located throughout the state of Florida including in Sarasota, Venice, St. Petersburg, and elsewhere. In short, you can’t afford to just assume a settlement is the best you’re going to get. Contact us to set up a consultation and see what your rights really are.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

A Closer Look At Accepting Settlements

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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