If you have been injured in an auto accident that was caused by someone else, don’t be in a rush to settle your injury claim. There are some unscrupulous insurance companies, and insurance adjusters, who make a habit of pressuring injured parties to settle quickly. We often hear stories from clients who have been contacted just a day or two after the accident by an adjuster who is offering them $2,000 or $3,000 to settle their claim. Beware! What they probably won’t explain is that the check comes only after you sign a liability release which lets them and their insured “off the hook” for any further claims. The problem is that some injuries are not immediately apparent. You may not realize the full extent of your injuries, or the medical care needed, for several months or more after an accident. The statute of limitations in Florida for automobile negligence cases is 4 years, so you have plenty of time to make sure that you are okay and get the care you need. That is not an excuse to delay treatment, but it is a reason not to be rushed to settle.
The same goes for the attorney you hire to represent you. If they are pressuring you or making you feel rushed to finish your treatment, they may not have your best interest at heart. Since almost all of these cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, some (few) lawyers may be more concerned about wrapping up your case and getting paid then they are about making sure that you get all the medical treatment you need and make the best medical recovery possible. If that is the situation you find yourself in, then it is time to discuss this with your attorney, and if you are not satisfied, it may be time to find another attorney to represent you. In the end, it is your injury claim, and your body. You are the one who will have to live with the results of these injuries. As I tell all of my clients, there is no amount of money that will make you glad that you were in a car accident, so don’t allow yourself to be rushed to accept a settlement until you know the full extent of your injuries and your medical treatment.