There are a lot of reasons NOT to agree to an early settlement with the insurance adjuster, but here are the top 2 of the most important reasons:
1) You have an underlying medical condition that was missed in your initial examinations following the wreck.
In our experience, we have seen clients who, as patients, initially appeared to be okay following their wreck based upon diagnostic studies. However, with the passage of additional time, their symptoms do not resolve, but instead, get worse. They require more medical treatment and are ultimately diagnosed with other serious injuries that occurred as a result of their wreck.
2) Your health plan has a right to subrogation and/or reimbursement.
When handling an injury claim, everyone should be aware that heath insurance companies now probably have a right of subrogation and/or reimbursement and may be entitled to receive from any settlement an amount equal to any and all funds the health plan expended on an injured person’s behalf to cover medical expenses. For this reason, we strongly recommend that everyone actually look at their health plan booklet to confirm the health plan’s rights.
Also, figure out the total amount of health plan payments for treatment of wreck related injuries, before considering any settlement. We have talked with potential clients before who settled their claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, only to discover that their health plan, without their knowledge, had sent a notice of subrogation to the at-fault party’s auto insurance company.
The auto insurance adjuster also conveniently failed to disclose this fact to the injured party, before they agreed to a settlement amount and obtained the signed settlement and release agreement. As a result, in that situation all of the settlement proceeds had to be paid to the injured person’s health plan pursuant to the terms of the health plan insurance contract or ERISA. This meant that the health plan got all of its money back before the injured party even got repaid for their out-of-pocket medical expenses and deductibles. We know that does not sound right or fair, but that is the rule of law in Texas.
There are many things to consider, but these are just a couple of the major issues we wanted to be sure you are aware of while moving forward with your claim. We hope that in your case, none of these issues develop. However, if they do, and you feel like this is something you would rather have someone else deal with to protect your interests, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. Our firm handles various kinds of legal matters including all types of personal injury claims, medical malpractice, automobile and trucking accidents, and premises liability. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 214-559-7202.