Car Accident Cases And Quick Cash Settlements: A Bad Idea

As we have blogged about previously, unless a car accident victim suffers minor injuries, it is typically not in their interests to try to get a quick cash settlement. Yes, these can be some temporary financial hardships caused by the delay in securing a settlement, however, patience is the watch word in many of these cases unless the client is in such desperate need for money that they have no choice but to significantly discount the value of their claim in order to get a quick cash settlement. Before this course of action is decided upon, however, clients need to be educated by their attorneys as to the costs involved in trying to get a quick cash settlement.
As we have indicated previously, there is not a car accident case (where liability exists) that cannot be settled quickly provided the client and the attorney are willing to accept far less than the claim is worth. Insurance companies are always willing to settle cases for less than they are worth so that they can save money. Quick cash settlements, therefore, are always typically available in car accident cases with insurance companies all to eager to save money on their policy and pay far less than the claim is worth. The innocent victim who is incurring medical expenses and sustaining lost wages not to mention suffering from their pain on a daily basis, has a hard time understanding the need for patience. The difficulty attendant to being patient is completely understandable but, again, unless a claim is a minor claim the client should usually be advised by counsel that they should be patient in trying to secure a settlement.
In any significant case, a case of established liability can be settled for 20, 30 or 40 cents on the dollar at most any given point in time. However, if an injury is indeed significant and will likely cause the client pain and suffering and difficulties well into the future, why should the case be discounted in its value and a quick cash settlement secured?

If someone has a broken neck or a broken back, partial paralysis, lost of a limb or suffers an amputation, the simple reality is that such claims should never be settled quickly because in order to do so typically the value of the claim must be significantly discounted. While there are exceptions to this rule (such as where there is a limited available liability coverage, i.e. low limits of liability coverage from the at fault driver) as a general rule, innocent victims of serious injuries should never settle their case quickly. They want to make sure before they settle the case that they know what the future holds, that they know what their future medical bills and lost wages may be and they have a full understanding of the pain and suffering that they are likely to endure. Only when a claim is fully evaluated with all such data in hand can a settlement figure be arrived upon that would be reasonable for the case. Any lawyer who settles the case quickly without doing such due diligence may be doing a client a significant disservice because patience is typically needed in order to conduct a thorough and complete evaluation of a serious injury claim whether it be due to a car accident, tractor-trailer accident, wrongful death, medical malpractice or any other tort.
It is not unusual for clients to complain that their lawyers of dragging their feet in not getting quick settlements. However, competent counsel typically can confer with their client and advise them of the need for patience. The lawyer wants to be paid for their services as well, however, in order to achieve the best possible result for the client competent lawyers typically advise their clients in serious injury cases that they must be patient if they want full compensation for all of their damages. If a client insists on a settlement before a thorough evaluation is completed, of course, that is the clients’ prerogative but the price for a quick cash settlement is typically a steep discount in the full value of the claim.

Published on:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information