Readers of this Ohio-based vehicle accident legal blog may have heard the term, "settlement," with regard to personal injury cases. A settlement is an agreement that the parties to a pending legal matter come to after negotiations.
With regard to a car accident claim, a victim may agree to settle their claim for a certain sum of money in exchange for giving up their present and future rights to sue the responsible party for any additional losses related to the incident. Consider an accident in which the victim suffers significant bodily injury. They amass medical bills and lose pay from taking time off the job. Weeks after their accident, they receive a settlement offer from a representative for the party who caused their accident for $100,000.
At first glance, a six-figure settlement may sound like a great way to avoid litigation and to get the victim the money they need. However, in the long run, the settlement may not serve the victim's best interests.
As they recover, they may find that their $100,000 settlement is not enough to pay all of their accident-related bills. Without the right to sue, they may not be able to seek payment for the money they lost from not being able to work. They may discover that they are stuck with debts they cannot pay and few legal options for obtaining help.
Every settlement situation is different and should be evaluated with the help of an attorney. While in some cases, settlements may be useful options for victims of car accidents, in other situations, a settlement may not provide a victim with what they need to get themselves back on their feet.