No matter what kind of personal injury case you're dealing with, there's one big issue that overshadows everything else: money. Cash settlements aren't a singular issue for one big pot of money, as funding covers medical care, lost wages, job rehabilitation, and many other concerns can change the final sum. Big money is important when you're losing parts of your life because of injury, but don't let big numbers on paper distract you from higher potential and unseen costs. Here are a few things to consider before agreeing to anything during a personal injury legal battle.
Will Your Injury Return?
Consider a scenario where you accept a payment that exceeds your normal pay for two or three years. It covers your medical bills and you're expected to recover.
What happens if you don't recover?
Many personal injury plaintiffs are tempted by large numbers to make a situation go away. For people who aren't skilled in financial planning--which, to be fair, many people aren't--hundreds of thousands of dollars is more money than they've ever seen or owned as a lump sum or even a promised structured settlement.
This is in hopes that the defendant can get off the hook for more expensive problems whether they're likely or not. There's a big threat looming over the person who injured you in the form of having to pay the rest of their life if your injury gets worse. In some financial and cultural situations, the promise of money can wipe that idea from the plaintiff's mind while the defendant heaves a sigh of relief.
Don't give in to high sums of money. It's not a casino game or game show where it's all or nothing; if they're willing to pay a certain amount of money, you can get that money from them in court.
The worst case scenario would be a wealthy and resourceful defendant who threatens legal annihilation if you don't take the money and run. Although this can be a legitimate issue, you can validate the risk and find the best solution by getting to a personal injury lawyer (like The Reed Noble Law Firm PLLC).
Negotiations Are Better
If you're reading this and considering your options, you either haven't been threatened by a billionaire, didn't take the money, or have second thoughts about accepting the settlement. If you haven't agreed to anything, great! A lawyer can help you figure out what to do next and sift through those threats. If you took the money, things become a bit more difficult.
An offer on the table is just another piece of information that a lawyer can use to consider your best course of action. They can research the person who injured you and--if it's a family or business handling the finances--the resources backing their offer. If they're truly more than what the lawyer can handle, they can give you advice on how to accept the payment while slowly building a backup plan and protecting your best interests in the future.
If it's nothing but a bluff, that offer becomes just a stepping stone. A defendant who can offer one sum of money can probably pay more over time, and you need a medical team to figure out what your future injury costs may be.
Finally, if you've already accepted the money, your opponent has some legal defense against you. You can still challenge them in court, but the funds they gave you may need to be taken by a neutral party during the legal proceedings.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer to figure out which option is best for your situation.Share