Is It possible for my injury case to be settled without my permission?

Martins Straume | Updated: 05-04-2023 15:50 IST | Created: 11-03-2022 10:04 IST
Is It possible for my injury case to be settled without my permission?
Image Credit: Bruce Mars on Unsplash

The settlement amount of an insurance claim can significantly impact a person’s life. That is why an insurance claim should never be settled without the permission of the injured party or a representative.

If you have been injured in an accident and your life is consumed with doctor's appointments and physical therapy sessions, you know that you have to concentrate on getting better. You also know that you have to pay all of those doctor's bills somehow, and all the time you have missed from work will not help with your situation.

You know that you have to file an insurance claim, but you are not sure how to get started.  When you call your insurance company, they will ask you a series of questions. They will have you send in all the documentation you have of your doctor's bills, the accident, and the wages you have lost. They may also ask you for bills from any personal assistance you have needed.

An insurance adjuster will investigate the case, and they will either approve or deny your injury claim. If they approve your claim, they will make you a settlement offer. In many cases, the amount of money they offer you will not be enough to cover your bills.

Can I refuse a settlement offer?

You can always refuse a settlement offer if it seems too low to you, but the insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting an offer. They might try to coerce you into accepting some, or all, of the blame for the accident. They might ignore your phone calls and refuse to reply to you if you do not accept their first offer.

Talk to a lawyer before accepting any kind of settlement. A lawyer cannot make a decision for you, but they can advise you and negotiate on your behalf.

An attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies because they have years of experience arguing with insurance adjusters. They know the intricacies of the law and will have seen many cases like yours in their career.

In most cases, they will be able to come to a reasonable agreement with the insurance company. If they cannot make a deal with the insurance adjuster, they can help you file a lawsuit and represent you in court. In the state of Florida, you have four years from the time of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Can my lawyer make a deal without my permission?

According to the American Bar Association, an attorney is never supposed to accept a settlement without a client's permission. An attorney must inform a client of any settlements that they have been offered and must do so in language that an ordinary citizen can understand. The client must be given an opportunity to get a second opinion. An attorney must also put any offers in writing and act within the best interest of their client.

Some unscrupulous attorneys will sneak Power of Attorney clauses in their contracts. These POA clauses permit attorneys to settle cases without the consent of a client.

Even if you are okay with your attorney making decisions for you, it is not a good idea to sign absolute power over to them. Always make sure to read everything they give to you as soon as possible. And make sure they stay in touch with you regularly.

An attorney must let you know what their office hours are, and you should be able to contact them with questions whenever you want.

What should I do before signing an agreement?

You should carefully read every word in an agreement before you sign it. Once you sign an agreement, there is rarely a way that you can get out of it.

What should I look for in a lawyer?

The attorney you select should have years of experience in personal injury law. It is also recommended that they specialize in your type of personal injury; for example, if you were injured in a car accident, you wouldn’t want to hire an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. They should have an excellent reputation with the state bar, and it is best to find an attorney who has been practicing in your state for a few years.

Before you agree to a settlement, it is important to get legal help with an injury claim. Getting injured is painful, expensive, and time-consuming, so you should never settle for anything less than you deserve.

(Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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