Motor vehicle accidents are disruptive and dangerous. They happen frequently on New York roads and leave victims with injuries, property losses, and other significant damages. In the wake of a motor vehicle accident, a victim may have questions and concerns about how to address their uncertain future. They have rights and should know that they can choose to work with personal injury attorneys to sort out their legal options and pursue the compensation that they deserve.
One of the decisions that a victim may have to make is whether to settle their motor vehicle accident claims. This post will discuss settlements generally and will provide information on both the benefits and disadvantages of settlement after a car accident. No reader should interpret this post as specific legal advice. All motor vehicle accident claims are different and victims should seek the counsel of trusted personal injury attorneys for help with their individual claims.
What is a settlement?
At its core, a settlement is a legal agreement or contract. In the context of a motor vehicle accident, it is made between the responsible party, the victim, and often their motor vehicle insurance companies. When a victim chooses to accept a settlement offer, they agree to take compensation for their losses in exchange for waiving their future rights to sue on their accident-related claims.
Why are settlements good for some victims?
Settlements may be beneficial for some motor vehicle accident victims. When a victim suffers minor injuries and losses, a single payment of compensation may be enough to fully return them to their pre-accident situation. When a victim’s losses are identifiable and limited, a settlement may fully compensate them.
Why are settlements damaging to some victims?
Not all motor vehicle accident victims should settle their claims. For example, when a victim suffers serious injuries and requires extensive medical care, they may not have a clear idea of when they will be fully healed and able to return to their life, work, and other responsibilities. Though a settlement may provide them with immediate financial support to work toward recovery, it may not be enough to fully compensate them for the continuing losses they incur as a result of their injuries. Put simply, a settlement may prevent a seriously injured victim from pursuing the damages they require that exceed what they have gotten in their settlement payment.
There is no single answer as to whether all motor vehicle accident victims should settle their claims. That decision will depend on many factors specifically related to their unique cases. When faced with the decision to settle a personal injury claim, a victim can have confidence in their decision when they utilized the knowledge and guidance of their dedicated personal injury lawyer.