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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Personal Injury > What Are the Risks of Settling a Personal Injury Case Too Quickly in Florida?

What Are the Risks of Settling a Personal Injury Case Too Quickly in Florida?

Florida personal injury claim

Fatal and injury-causing accidents remain a threat in Florida despite safety campaigns and initiatives to prevent such tragedies. Horrific incidents can happen in a heartbeat, when you least expect them and cannot act to protect yourself. Fortunately, Florida personal injury laws provide you with legal remedies when you were injured or lost a loved one because of someone else’s careless conduct. You could qualify to recover compensation through the legal process, but not all cases are resolved by a trial. In fact, many claims settle without going to court. Of course, if you are considering your options, you will want to know the risks of settling a personal injury case too quickly in Florida.

Though there are numerous benefits for working out your accident case by agreement, you may not be able to take advantage of them if you settle prematurely. Still, an insurance company will try to pressure you into accepting an offer right away. Insurers know that they can get your attention by promising to pay, before you even know the full extent of your losses.


Because the legal process is complicated, it is smart to work with a Florida personal injury attorney who will guide you with settlement discussions. You need legal representation when going up against an insurance company that does not have your interests in mind. 

Types of Personal Injury Cases

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 24.1 million people visit hospital emergency rooms every year for treatment of unintentional injuries. Another 24.8 million head to their physician’s office after suffering injuries from accidents. Many of these incidents fall under Florida personal injury laws. For instance:


  • The #1 reason that people seek medical care at the ER are slip and fall accidents, with 8,592,000 visits annually. Many of the incidents are caused by negligent property and business owners who do not take proper precautions to ensure the premises are safe.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are also a top cause of injuries in the US, such as car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Collisions involving pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, and other vulnerable road users are included in this total. More than 2.5 million people suffer harm in these collisions, with injuries ranging from minor to severe. Negligence is also a factor in traffic accidents.
  • Unintentional poisoning causes approximately 1.76 million injuries every year. Many of these cases relate to overprescribing or mistakes with prescribing fentanyl, opioids, and other dangerous drugs. Health care providers may be liable through a medical malpractice case.

Standards in Personal Injury Cases

Negligence plays a significant role in accident claims, so it is helpful to understand the concept. The term means more than just carelessness in the practice of law, because negligence is a theory of liability. To recover compensation, you must be able to prove four essential elements:


  1. Duty: The person or entity who caused the accident had a duty to act with reasonable care, such as when driving or maintaining property.
  2. Breach: The at-fault party breached the standard of care by engaging in unreasonably unsafe acts. Examples of breach in auto crashes include speeding, running red lights, and drunk driving.
  3. Causation: There must be a causal link between the breach of duty and the accident in which you were injured, such that you would not have been hurt but for the breach.
  4. Damages: You need evidence showing that you sustained losses because of your injuries.


Some personal injury cases may be based upon reckless conduct or even intentional acts, such as criminal aggravated and simple assault, sexual assault, and other attacks.

Legal Process for Accident Claims

There are certain steps you need to take for a personal injury case, starting with filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Businesses, property owners, motorists, and homeowners carry liability policies that pay compensation to a victim who is hurt by the policyholder. It is during the claims process that you could run the risk of settling your case too soon.


  • Filing a Claim: Your first step to seeking compensation is submitting a claim to the insurance company and making a demand for payment. You will need to include all evidence that proves your damages and shows that the policyholder was at fault.


  • Settlement: Even when your facts are clear, the insurer may not immediately approve your claim and forward payment. Instead, the company will make a counteroffer to settle your case. Your personal injury lawyer and the insurer may engage in negotiations to resolve the claim.


  • Mediation: If you do not settle through informal negotiations, your case may go to mediation in an attempt to get the parties to agree. During mediation, the parties work with a trained mediator to reach a compromise with the claim.


  • Litigation: At times, the insurance company will still refuse to pay fair compensation through settlement discussions and mediation. You may need to file a lawsuit in court to get the monetary damages you deserve by law.

Benefits of Settlement for Personal Injury Cases

Whether by agreement or through mediation, there are advantages to resolving your claim before going to court. They include:


  • With settlement, you can resolve your case quickly compared to litigation. A case in court could take several months or even years, and you will not recover compensation until it concludes.
  • When you settle your personal injury claim by agreement, you gain certainty. By going to court, there is always the risk that you could lose if the jury does not agree with your position.
  • By entering into an agreement for a personal injury claim, you will not need to testify in court. For those who are intimidated by official proceedings, settlement is a benefit. 
  • Settling your case means you will release all future claims and the matter concludes. You will receive payment for your losses soon after the agreement and other documents are signed.
  • Because you could settle before trial, the costs of litigating your case are greatly reduced. Going to trial can be expensive, from discovery and depositions to appearances in court and the trial.

Risks of Settling a Claim Too Soon

One of the biggest problems with agreeing to settle too quickly is that you do not know the full extent of your losses. You could still be receiving treatment after suffering injuries, such as medical care from specialists, physical therapists, surgeons, and other health care providers. It is also possible that you are unable to return to work, so you are missing out on wages you could be earning.


Insurance companies seek to capitalize on quick settlement, so there is a risk you could lose compensation by agreeing right away. The insurer is aware that times are tough following an accident, and that you might be willing to settle right away to have financial support. Their goal is to get you to settle quickly, so that you do not even realize that you are agreeing to less than what you could recover by waiting for a careful assessment of your losses. When you have legal representation, your Florida personal injury lawyer will not allow the insurance company to pressure you into settling before the time is right.

Compensation for Victims of Accidents

There are two types of damages that you may be entitled to recover in a personal injury claim, though you may not be successful if you settle too early in the process. A Florida accident attorney will fight to ensure you get the full amount allowed by law for:


  • Economic Damages: These are losses that are tangible and represented by a dollar value. For instance, you could recover for medical costs like hospitalization, emergency care, and surgery. You may also qualify to obtain lost wages for the time you miss from work.


  • Noneconomic Damages: Some losses cannot be measured in numbers, but you most certainly suffer hardship after being injured in an accident. Noneconomic damages are the consequences for your quality of life, which is diminished when you are hurt. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring and disfigurement, and impacts on relationships with loved ones.


In cases involving reckless or intentional misconduct, it may be possible to recover punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer for offensive, malicious acts.

Limitations in Personal Injury Cases

There are a few Florida personal injury laws that could impact your decision making with settlement, so you need to consider them when looking at the risks of settling too quickly. For one, Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 2 years. If you do not file a lawsuit in court within this timeframe, you are barred from seeking compensation. The clock starts to run on the date of the accident, though there are extensions for children who are injured in accidents.


Another potential pitfall is Florida’s law on comparative fault, which was recently modified. Under the current version of the law, a victim could lose compensation if he or she contributed to the accident through negligent acts. If you were also to blame, your damages are reduced by the amount of fault attributable to your actions. However, when your liability reaches 50 percent or more, you cannot recover any compensation for your losses.

Consult with a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away

When you see that there are risks of settling a personal injury case too quickly in Florida, you realize the importance of retaining legal counsel to assist with your claim. You might leave money on the table, yet you cannot take back your agreement once finalized. For more information on settling claims, please contact Rosen Injury Law, P.A. We can schedule a consultation with a Florida personal injury attorney who will provide additional details. 


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