Should You Finish Medical Treatment Before Receiving an Injury Settlement?

April 14, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Should You Finish Medical Treatment Before Receiving an Injury Settlement?

Knowing the Full Cost of Treatment Before Accepting an Injury Settlement

You should not accept a settlement from a personal injury until you have completed your medical treatment because you will not know how much your treatment will cost in the long run. A severe injury can require years of medical treatment, with multiple surgeries and physical therapy appointments. If you accept a settlement offer before the total costs are calculated, you may be left to pay for the rest of the treatment out of your own pocket. In Florida, a personal injury victim has four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Once you file, you have a longer time window to settle. You should not settle until you are sure your medical treatment is complete. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help with negotiating a settlement offer after suffering a personal injury. They can help you identify low-ball offers from the insurance company while you work toward getting healthy. After you complete medical treatment, they can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get fair compensation for your injuries.

Receive Medical Treatment Immediately After a Personal Injury Accident

The first thing you should worry about following a personal injury accident is receiving medical treatment. Even if you feel you suffered minor injuries, a hospital trip can help identify the extent of your injuries. Some injuries don't have apparent symptoms, so you will need a doctor to do physical examinations and imaging tests to see what injuries you have suffered. A no-fault state like Florida requires drivers to purchase personal injury protection, covering $10,000 worth of damages associated with a car accident. However, to receive this payment, you must seek medical treatment within the 14 days following your accident to qualify for the payment from your PIP insurance.

Do Not Accept an Injury Settlement Before Maximum Medical Improvement

You should not accept an injury settlement without completing your medical treatment because you will not know the total medical cost. Injuries can worsen over time, with more treatment needed to compensate for the vast complications. For example, knee injuries can require multiple medical solutions. If you settle after the first treatment, you will not be able to receive money for necessary treatments down the line.  You should not go into a negotiation blind, especially with damages as expensive as medical costs. Medical costs require several factors for calculations, including the injury's severity, length, recovery timeline, impact on the victim's life, and treatments. Do not settle until you decide the total cost of all these factors which can require the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Personal Injuries Can Require Multiple Years of Medical Treatment

Some personal injury victims may grow tired of waiting for a settlement after years of receiving medical treatments. Severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, require years of treatment.  A victim must be patient when it comes to settling, as there is no clock on when you can settle. Once you file a claim, you have until you have reached maximum medical improvement to settle, even if it takes years.

Insurance Companies Offer Early Settlements to Lower the Cost

After you file a personal injury claim, the insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to meet with you. They investigate the accident and can identify ways to limit your entitled settlement. They may do this by asking you tricky questions to get you to say something that sounds like an admission of fault for the accident. Insurance companies may also offer low settlements early on in the hope you accept without knowing any better. These lowball offers are potentially an example of insurance bad faith but in many cases, they can fall within the bounds of legality and cost you thousands from a potential settlement. Although you may feel you need some financial aid following your accident, this offer is intended not to pay out the full extent of the damages. You should not accept a settlement offer until you know the total cost of your medical treatment after you have reached maximum medical improvement.

What Situations Should a Personal Injury Victim Accept an Early Settlement?

If you only suffered a minor injury, you may not require a lot of medical treatment. Your medical treatment may already be complete by the time you receive an early offer from the insurance company. In that case, your lawyer can determine whether the settlement offer is good enough to be accepted.  Before accepting an offer, you must be sure there will be no further health complications. Speak with your doctor about your injuries and how they can affect you down the line. You can accept a settlement offer if your injuries will not have further complications that will need medical treatment. Even if you want to accept an early settlement offer, your lawyer should still be consulted so they can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. Early offers are often intentionally on the lower end due to the anticipation that lawyers will value the case higher so a fair compromise can be met.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Determine the Best Time to Settle

A personal injury lawyer can help alleviate the pressure applied by an insurance company regarding your settlement. They will work to make sure that you receive compensation for your medical costs and other damages you suffered from the accident. Only after an offer includes all damages will a lawyer suggest you settle. A personal injury lawyer can represent you in court in a personal injury lawsuit should the insurance company not budge from its initial offer. They will fight to prove the at-fault party's liability to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Personal Injury Claim

Dolman Law Group can help you recover damages by filing a personal injury claim. On top of medical costs, some of the damages you can recover from a successful personal injury claim include lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, wrongful death, and pain and suffering. Dolman Law Group's skillful and determined personal injury lawyers will help you through the process of your personal injury claim while you recover from damages. They can consult you on the right time to settle and negotiate a fair settlement. Get in touch with Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation. Call 833-55-CRASH or leave us a message on our online contact page.  


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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