You were badly hurt in a car accident. To your great relief, the other party’s insurance company seems prepared to accept responsibility. In fact, they’ve been calling regularly to check on your condition and have even suggested that they’re ready to make a fair offer.
Don’t fall for it. When an insurance company seems eager to accept liability and starts pressing you to take a settlement, the odds are high that they know full well that your claim is worth more than they’re offering.
How long you have to initiate a lawsuit against the other party
The statute of limitations in Florida, which controls how long you have to file a lawsuit, gives you four full years to initiate your claim after a wreck. Given that time frame, you don’t want to settle until you’re absolutely sure that you’ve reached your maximum possible medical improvement.
Here’s the reality: If you’ve been seriously injured, you may never fully heal. However, there will come a point where your “recovery” is as complete as it’s going to ever be. It’s only at that point that you can begin to calculate how much compensation you deserve and what money you need for your future care.
For example, imagine that you suffered a serious neck injury in the wreck and needed a couple of titanium screws in your spine to hold things in place. It seems to work for a while, but you develop excruciating pain in your arm six months later. The doctor discovers that the pins didn’t hold, and you now need a metal plate. If you’ve already settled your claim, you can’t go back and re-open it to claim any additional compensation for the second surgery and all the pain or lost motor function you suffer in your arm.
If you accept an early settlement offer, you could be leaving money on the table that you need for your future medical costs and living expenses. Experienced guidance can help you better understand what your claim is really worth.