| Read Time: 3 minutes | Insurance Claims
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It’s very tempting to settle an injury claim as fast as possible, especially when you have medical bills piling up and have suffered lost wages. However, in Florida, rushing to settle your claim comes with significant risks that could affect your long-term financial and medical well-being. Here are some of the risks of settling your injury claim too quickly.

Incomplete Medical Assessment

Injuries from an accident may not fully manifest until weeks or even months after the incident. Conditions like whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries can have delayed symptoms. Settling your claim before understanding the full extent of your injuries can leave you without adequate compensation for future medical expenses. 

It’s essential to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), a point at which your doctor believes your condition has stabilized and no further significant improvement is expected. 

Underestimation of Long-term Costs

Medical treatment can be incredibly expensive, particularly if long-term care or rehabilitation is required. By settling too early, you may not account for future medical costs, physical therapy, or necessary modifications to your home or vehicle. 

Additionally, if your injury leads to a permanent disability, early settlement might not cover the loss of future earning capacity. A thorough evaluation by medical and financial experts ensures that all potential costs are considered. 

Pressure from Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often pressure victims to settle quickly, offering a seemingly attractive lump sum. Their goal is to make the lowest payout possible, and they may try to minimize the severity of your injuries or downplay the necessity of certain treatments. 

Accepting an early settlement without proper legal counsel can result in accepting a much lower amount than you are entitled to, leaving you to cover the gap. 

Legal Rights and Settlements

Once you’ve accepted a settlement and signed a release of claims, you forfeit your right to pursue further compensation related to the accident. This is binding even if your injuries worsen or new complications arise. 

Consulting with a personal injury attorney before settling ensures you understand your rights and the full implications of accepting a settlement. An experienced lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and with your best interests in mind, often securing a much better outcome than if you negotiate yourself.

Emotional and Psychological Impact

The aftermath of an injury can be overwhelming, leading to decisions driven by stress and the desire for a quick resolution. While settling too quickly may offer short-term relief, it can lead to long-term regret if you find yourself under financial strain due to underestimated injury costs. Emotional distress and mental health treatments are also compensable damages that might be overlooked in a hasty settlement. 

Florida’s Modified Comparative Fault System

HB 837, signed into law in 2023, transitions Florida from a purely comparative fault system to a modified comparative fault system. This legislation incorporates the 51% bar rule, meaning a plaintiff cannot recover damages if they are found to be more than 50% at fault for their injuries.

Insurance companies may exploit this by pushing for a quick settlement before a thorough investigation can establish accurate fault distribution. 

Strategies to Avoid Premature Settlements

  • Thorough Medical Evaluation: Ensure all injuries are diagnosed and treatment plans are in place before considering a settlement.
  • Legal Representation: Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can navigate the complexities of your case and deal with the insurance companies. 
  • Accurate Documentation: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and the impact the injury has on your daily life. 
  • Patience: Allow time for all aspects of your injury to be fully understood and evaluated, even if it takes longer than expected. 

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been involved in a personal injury incident, seeking legal advice is essential to protect your rights. Our legal team has more than 40 years of experience seeking justice for accident victims. Our attorneys have sought and won millions of dollars for our injured clients. 

Call 850-601-1111 to schedule a complimentary consultation with no obligations. This consultation will help you explore your legal options. Let us help you fight for fair compensation.

Author Photo

Mark continued his studies at Florida State University College of Law, graduating cum laude in 2008. While in law school, Mark was a member of the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law and the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, as well as a certified legal intern with the FSU Public Interest Law Center, where he assisted low-income clients with a wide range of family law issues. He also served as a law clerk intern to The Honorable L. Clayton Roberts of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.

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