Out of Sight, Out of Mind? When to Start Your Settlement
When you’ve been in a car accident, the first thing you often want to do is square everything away. Settling into the hospital with the peace of mind regarding who’s paying your medical bills can be calming, and crossing things off your “to do” list always feels productive. However, there are many reasons why waiting a little to settle your personal injury case can be beneficial.
Most importantly, within the first day or two, you rarely have a full idea regarding the scope of severity of your injury. There are often medical complications that can arise later on, and settling for a broken leg, when there’s something wrong internally that takes a while to manifest, can leave you in dire straits down the road.
Of course, delaying your settlement too much can also be a problem, collecting evidence, clearly remembering what happened and who said what, as well as laws known as the Statute of Limitations are all reasons to avoid unnecessary delay. In Washington State, the Statute of Limitations for negligence is generally three years. After that three-year mark, you are no longer allowed to seek compensation. Attorneys prefer to start working on an injury case well before the Statute of Limitations is upon them. Being able to gather important evidence and consider whether or not the case can be settled without filing a lawsuit are just some of the advantages of seeking legal advice from an experienced injury attorney well before the State of Limitations expires.
Often times a person can consider settlement after their doctor has run all of the needed tests and either given her a clean bill of health or said that she is as good as she is going to get. Determining the fair compensation for what someone else’s carelessness has done to a person requires knowledge and experience. In the case of significant injury, the value of a person’s medical bills and lost wages are just a small part of how an injury effects a person.