Should I Take an Auto Accident Settlement Without Speaking to a Lawyer?
If you have recently been in an automobile accident, you may have been pleasantly surprised to hear from the person who caused the accident, his lawyer, or an insurance company that they would like to offer you some amount of money for your injuries and trouble. This may feel like a nice gesture – and it may indeed even be one – but regardless of the other party’s intentions, you run a dangerous risk of accepting a payout from them without speaking to an attorney who can offer an unbiased assessment of the worth of your auto accident claim.
Accepting Payment Usually Means You Give Up Your Rights to Full Recovery
The party offering you payment may call it a “settlement” and ask you to sign a waiver or they may just hand you a check. In either case, by accepting that payment after an auto accident claim, a court is likely to view your acceptance as a waiver of your rights to bring a lawsuit in court for your injuries at a later time.
To put it another way, if you accept payment from another driver, but then later realize that the cost of your medical care is going to be far higher than you anticipated, and that you might be unable to work for some period of time, you may not be able to pursue financial recovery for those costs even if you were unaware of them at the time you accepted the check.
Why It’s Important to Understand Your Full Right to Recovery
Thus, before accepting a settlement/payment, it is important to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney in your area who can advise you on what your full rights to recovery are for your accident and what the likelihood of that recovery is in a fully negotiated settlement or at trial.
It is certainly possible that the other party is genuinely acting out of your best interests and wants to make sure you are taken care of for your full costs, but it is also quite possible that that party knows the high cost of what they actually owe you for your injuries and is hoping you will accept a small on-the-spot payout – again giving up your rights to file a later lawsuit – before you talk to an attorney and find out what your true recovery should be. By speaking with an experienced auto accident attorney, you can learn for yourself what your rights are and then proceed accordingly with either accepting the settlement or moving forward with other legal options.
Work With Experienced Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys
The Kelley Law Firm PC in Dallas, TX represents the rights of personal injury victims and family members of those killed wrongfully. We have successfully recovered numerous 7-figure settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, and are passionately committed to obtaining the maximum financial recovery that our clients deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your personal injury or wrongful death matter.