Should I take an Early Settlement on My Case at a Discount?
If you are a party to a personal injury case or claim, regardless of whether you are at the stage where a lawsuit has been filed or not, you will be approached at some point by the insurance company for the party whose negligence resulted in your injuries about an early settlement. Often the insurance company will make an early settlement offer and tell you that you are better off settling your case early for a little less money, before expensive discovery and trial cut into the amount that you will ultimately receive from your personal injury lawsuit. However good this may sound, what the insurer often will leave out when trying to convince you to accept an early settlement is that the settlement offer it is making is less than the insurer actually values your case at and often considerably less than your case is actually worth. Accordingly, this is one reason it is so important to have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you who can explain to you the benefits and drawbacks of settling your case early and be straight with you about whether the insurer is trying to save money at your expense by settling your case early.
Insurance Companies and Why They Push for Early Settlement
Some insurance companies are more aggressive than others when it comes to trying to settle cases earlier, but typically an insurer’s settlement offer always is an attempt to save themselves money. Insurance companies look at every case through the same lens: how much money it will cost them. Whether it is indemnity (money paid to the injured person to settle the case or claim) versus defense costs (how much it pays in fees and costs to the attorney defending its insured), it is all money that the insurer ultimately has to pay regardless of what you call it. Therefore, the earlier an insurance company can settle a case, the less money it often has to spend. Insurers often try to push settlement early because they think it minimizes the amount they may have to spend on both the settlement payment to the injured party as well as resulting in less in defense fees the insurer has to pay. It’s a win for the insurer on both counts when you look at it that way.
Does Early Settlement Actually Mean More Money in Your Pocket?
However, you need to ensure the insurer is not winning at your expense, if you are the injured party in this scenario. Settling a case early does mean that you will not need to incur the costs associated with depositions, hiring expert witnesses and perhaps even going to trial, which all can add up and do cut into the amount that you can expect to walk away from your lawsuit with. Considering early settlement should not mean treating your case as any less valuable, however. The insurer wants to save money on the amount it pays the attorney defending the case and will try to talk you into accepting less money than your case is actually worth if it is trying to encourage you to take an early settlement offer. This is one reason you need to ensure that you have an attorney you trust, because your attorney will be upfront with you about whether what the insurance company is offering you is really a good deal or not. It may (and likely is) often not a very good deal when you look at the amount of the discount on the value of your case that the insurer is trying to convince you to take. If your case is worth $100,000 and it will take $35,000 to pursue your case all the way through trial and you have a good shot at winning at trial, but the insurer is trying to convince you to take $25,000 right after the case is filed, this is not a good deal.
Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley
If you or someone you love have been injured by someone else’s negligence in Florida, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you to recover maximum damages for your injuries. Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today, our experienced personal injury attorneys have over 200 years of combined legal experience and have successfully represented more than 15,000 satisfied clients. Over our decades of practice, we have gained valuable experience in understanding how insurers value cases and the ways in which they attempt to convince injured persons to take less money than a case may be worth by settling cases early. Contact us today at (877) 694-6079 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation regarding your situation.