Should my attorney try to get me to settle my injury lawsuit before I am completely healed?
The general rule is that it is unwise, and in fact, in most cases inappropriate to settle your injury claim before you have completed your medical treatment. This does not mean, however, that you should wait until you heal before your settle your claim.
Consider that personal injury claims are evaluated in part based upon the nature and extent of your injuries, and the amount of your medical bills. A claim cannot be properly evaluated before a client finishes their medical treatment. The amount of the medical bills, the type of medical treatment, and the length of treatment are all factors that can dramatically affect settlement value. Therefore, it is imperative that you complete your medical treatment before you settle your case. Otherwise, the offer will not take into consideration the suffering and expense related to your medical care. This means, you will receive an inappropriately low offer.
However, there are many injuries such as traumatic brain injuries that may require life long medical care. With these types of catastrophic injuries, an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney will retain the appropriate experts to outline the type and cost of future medical care that you will need over the course of your life. These experts make it possible to properly evaluate and settle your case long before you complete your medical treatment, and before you heal from your injuries.
Of course, with injuries that are not catastrophic, such as fractures requiring surgery, you may still have ongoing pain after completing your treatment. In these cases, your doctor will examine you before he discharges you and will note in his report that you continue to suffer from pain that has not yet healed, and that he is discharging you because there is nothing more that can be done to alleviate your pain. The doctor’s notation about your ongoing pain allows for a proper evaluation of your case.
Any lawyer who tries to convince you to settle your injury claim before you have completed your medical treatment may not be the best choice for you. Be wise about who you select to represent you and consider your options carefully.