If you have recently been injured in a car accident, the other party's insurance company has possibly been contacting you to offer you a settlement. Although the idea of cashing a check -- in some cases, a rather large check -- can be quite appealing, you shouldn't always accept the first settlement that you are offered. In some cases, it's a far better idea to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you get a higher amount of compensation. These are a few signs that taking a settlement isn't a good idea.
1. You're Still Going Through Medical Treatment
If you are still going through medical treatment for issues related to your car accident, then you shouldn't accept a settlement. Your medical costs could be higher over the coming weeks, months or years than you think, and you shouldn't have to get stuck footing these bills yourself.
2. You Haven't Been Checked Thoroughly By a Medical Professional
Even if you feel okay after your car accident, you shouldn't assume that your injuries aren't more serious than you think. In some cases, it can take a while for the symptoms of a spine injury or other injury to show up. You don't want to end up in need of medical attention for your injury later on without help with your medical bills, so it's best to wait to accept a settlement until you have been checked thoroughly by a medical professional. Then, you can make sure that there is nothing wrong, even if you haven't felt any symptoms since your accident.
3. Your Mental State Has Been Altered
If you feel as if your mental state has been altered by your car accident -- such as if you are terrified to drive now or if you are having flashbacks about the accident -- then you may need a lot of counseling to help feel better. Counseling can be very expensive, however, and you may also be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering. These things could cost much more than what the insurance company is offering you.
Don't let a big payout from an insurance company get you too excited. Instead, consider whether or not it's a good idea to take a settlement. For best results, it's a good idea to see a personal injury lawyer like Gibbs and Parnell for a free consultation. Then, you can determine if it's smarter to push for a bigger settlement or possibly take the case to court.