When Is The Right Time To Settle My Florida Personal Injury Claim?

Many people ask our experienced personal injury attorneys when the right time is to settle a Florida personal injury claim.  Unfortunately, there is no right answer for every client’s situation when it comes to this question.  Each Florida personal injury claim is different and each injured party is different. Some people have cases whose value may not necessarily increase with time, whereas other cases may become more valuable as litigation continues.  However, even though each claim is indeed unique, there are some factors that can generally help when making this decision.  Generally, it comes down to deciding when you can most efficiently and effectively resolve your case so that you walk away with a maximum recovery.  Given that your attorney owes you a duty of candor, a duty that the experienced Florida personal injury attorneys at Schwed Adams & McGinley take very seriously, your attorney will let you know when we believe your case has hit the point where it makes the most sense to consider potentially settling your personal injury claim.  However, you are ultimately the one with the ability to decide whether or not you will settle your case, so any recommendation that you may receive from your attorney is only that, a recommendation.

Factors to Consider when Deciding Whether to Your Florida Personal Injury Claim

There are several factors that go into determining when the right time might be to settle a personal claim.  One factor in particular is the state of your injuries resulting from the incident in which you were injured.  If you have reached maximum medical improvement, it might make sense to settle your personal injury suit at that time.  This means that you have recovered as much as you will ever be expected to from a medical standpoint.  Thus, you know that you are unlikely to need much, if any, future medical treatment, so however much you have already incurred in medical bills is unlikely to change.  Regardless of how many depositions your attorney may take or how far you get into the process, the numbers probably will not change that much.  Therefore, this is one instance in which it may make sense to consider reaching a settlement early if you can obtain a number you are happy with.

On the other hand, it does not make sense to take a settlement if your future prognosis is up in the air and it is unclear what future medical treatment you will need for your injuries and, in particular, what your future medical costs might be.  If you end up settling your case for $100,000 in the very beginning of your case when you had little to no idea what your injuries were and how much treatment you would need for them and you end up needing $1,000,000 out of pocket in future medical treatment, then you will end up having made very poor decision.  Therefore, particularly in cases where a client may still be receiving treatment or the ultimate prognosis is uncertain, we often recommend waiting before even considering settling his or her case.

Other times it may make sense to settle earlier if your case may have liability or proof problems should it proceed all the way to trial.  Keep in mind that the further in the process the case goes, the more expensive it becomes because the more depositions have to be taken, expert witnesses have to be hired, etc.  In a case where liability is unclear or there may also be some fault on the client’s side when it comes to liability (or who is legally responsible for causing the client’s injuries), it may make sense to settle the case early.  For example, assume that you suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  If the accident in which you were injured was 60% the other motorist’s fault and 40% your fault, you may take the case to trial and only recover 60% of your damages.  If the insurance company for the other driver offers you $70,000 at a mediation early on, this might be one time it would make more sense to take that settlement offer at mediation than to take the case all the way through to verdict when your best day at trial is likely to be $60,000.  Not only would you recover more this way, the expenses would be much less than taking the case all the way to trial, ultimately resulting in a greater recovery for you.

All the Decisions Ultimately Belong To You

When it comes to injuries caused by someone else, whether negligence or any type of personal injury claim, the claim belongs to you.  You choose an attorney to represent your best interests, but your lawyer cannot do anything without your consent.  This includes settling the case, going to trial vs. taking an offer from the other side’s insurer at a mediation, or making a settlement offer.   Ultimately, all decisions rest with you because it is your claim and you are the one who has the ultimate decision-making authority.  Therefore, your attorney can recommend to you when they think it is best to settle, but there is never a right time to settle your personal injury claim.  Every case is different and the facts of every case are unique.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, we are experienced Florida personal injury attorneys with more than 150 years of combined legal experience.  Our attorneys know when a case is not likely to get any better for our clients.  We will also always be candid with you if we see problems in your case.  We do this because it is our duty to you as our client to look out for your best interests.  If you or a loved one have been injured in any type of scenario in Florida, contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley at (877) 694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation today.