You've been in a car accident. A car flew through a red light and slammed into the side of your truck. You don't remember it, but you read the police report. You woke up in the hospital with no idea how badly you were hurt.
You know that you deserve financial compensation, but should you accept a settlement if it's offered? This can be the right move in some situations, but you also need to know about the risks.
You Can't Sue in the Future
When you take the settlement, you give up the right you have to sue for compensation. That's true forever. You're gambling that the settlement will be enough. Will it?
You may believe that it covers everything, but there are some car accident injuries that don't show up right away. Head injuries, in particular, can be tricky. If you think treatment is going to cost $25,000 and that's the exact settlement you're given, you can't go back and get more when it winds up costing you $100,000.
Your Condition Might Not Be Stable Yet
They may come to you with the settlement offer while you're in the hospital. You're predicted to get out a week later and you plan to go back to work, but you haven't done it yet. What if your condition gets worse and you have to stay in the hospital longer, racking up medical bills and lost wages? What if you go back to work and find that you actually can't do your job thanks to lasting pain, dizzy spells and other issues. Now you have a lot of lost future wages that weren't part of that settlement.
With a settlement, the key is making sure that you get full compensation for your injuries. Don't rush into it. Don't make a rash decision just to get it over with. Remember that this is a legal process and you're signing away your rights by taking the money. You must be 100 percent sure that you're being compensated for every single cent you're owed. You can't go back and get it later.
As you mull over what to do next, be sure you know about your legal rights and all of the options that you have.
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