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What does it mean to a settle a motor vehicle accident claim?

After a motor vehicle accident in Florida, a victim may feel like they are caught in a whirlwind of uncertainties. They may prioritize the treatment of their injuries and may work with their employer to take time off from their job so that they can recuperate. They may work with insurers and auto dealers to replace or fix their vehicle and they may have to rely on others to complete daily tasks and needs. While coping with all of these and other matters they may receive an accident settlement offer in the mail.

A settlement is an agreement to release a responsible party from legal liability in exchange for financial compensation. For example, after an accident a victim may be offered $100,000 to settle their personal injury claim against the responsible driver. While $100,000 may sound like a lot of money to someone who is struggling with medical bills and time away from their work, in the long term it may not be enough money to fully make the victim whole.

Settlements curtail victims’ rights to later sue for more damages. Victims are therefore left with only what they agree to when they accept or negotiate settlements with the party who caused their harm. While there are no guarantees when personal injury claims go to litigation, victims may be able to prevail with larger damages awards than they would receive if they settled their claims.

When a settlement offer arrives after a motor vehicle accident, a victim may wish to discuss it with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help a victim understand their rights, assess the facts of their case and make appropriate decisions about how to proceed on their legal options for recovery.