When Is It More Appropriate To Refuse A Settlement?

14 December 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Settlements are very common in personal injury cases, but sometimes it's better to refuse a settlement. Legal costs can soar in a full court case, and you won't see money for your bills until the end of the case. Settlements allow for faster payouts. To navigate this confusing path, it's best to speak with your lawyer. 

When the Offer Is Inadequate

Settlement offers are almost always going to be less than the proposed award amount should your case go through the courts. Sometimes they're going to be much less, which may convince you to say no. You want to get the compensation that allows you to pay medical bills, damage, and other related things to the point where you are not suffering financially as a result of the injury. If your case is particularly difficult, your lawyer might advise you to accept a settlement that is slightly lower than what you'd hoped for just because the court case could drag on and create more financial problems for you until it's resolved. But if the settlement is really too low, then you and your lawyer need to discuss refusing it.

When You Don't Like the Terms

Sometimes settlements contain terms about not admitting guilt or other things that aren't that attractive to you—the person who was hurt. If you find terms in the settlement contract that you aren't comfortable with, see if you can get the lawyer to renegotiate those. It's possible that the terms are in there for good reason, and your lawyer should be able to explain that to you. Then you can decide if you still want to refuse the settlement or accept it.

You Can Change Your Mind if You Haven't Completed the Contract

If you've already agreed verbally with your lawyer that a settlement is the best option, you may still have a chance to change your mind. If you haven't signed anything, and the lawyer hasn't started finalizing the settlement with the other party, you should be able to say you'd rather continue with the court case. Be aware that if you say no to the settlement, you can't say yes later on, so the right to change your mind doesn't work both ways. And, you might not get any additional settlement offers after that.

If you need to find a personal injury lawyer but are worried about being forced to accept an inadequate settlement, don't worry—you won't be forced to accept it. Speak with personal injury lawyers about their views on when to reject settlements because you'll find a range of opinions. You want to be sure you work with a lawyer who understands your concerns.

Contact a local personal injury attorney to learn more.