After a minor injury in an auto accident, I was awarded a settlement. Do I have to take the settlement or can I demand for more?

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After a minor injury in an auto accident, I was awarded a settlement. Do I have to take the settlement or can I demand for more?

I was in a vehicle accident in which I was not at fault. I opted not to get a lawyer. The insurance company has now offered to reimburse me the physical therapy sessions and pain and suffering. After telling them, I felt that wasn’t enough, they increased it by only 200. Is this sufficient enough, or do I need to seek a lawyer?

Asked on June 12, 2018 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can always ask for more; they can refuse to offer any more, of course, and you can then decide whether to take the money or instead sue for more.
In taking a settlement, you always accept less than you might get if you went to trial: you do so in order to 1) avoid the risk of losing and getting nothing--after all, you are never guaranteed to win (never believe any lawyer who says a case is 100% guaranteed--courts do strange or unexpected things sometimes); 2) avoid the cost of a lawsuit (e.g. expert witness fees, such as if you need to hire a doctor to testify about your injuries; legal fees); 3) get the money fast, instead of after months or years (litigation, etc. can take a long time).  Generally, if you are being offered all your medical costs and some amount for pain and suffering, and have not suffered significant longer-term or permanent life impairment, you are better off settling than litigating.


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