What Happens If You Don’t Accept a Settlement?

An attorney can guide you through the system after you don't accept a settlement.

Many people know that settlements are often preferable to going to trial for several reasons, including the fact that settlements guarantee you can receive money and be able to access it sooner. Going to trial is a lengthy process that often yields unpredictable outcomes.

However, there are several reasons why injured individuals wouldn’t accept an initial settlement after their accident.

Before you reject a settlement offer it is important to know what comes with that.

When someone rejects a settlement offer, it is automatically terminated and can not be accepted at a later time. From here, you can negotiate or make a counteroffer, but will be up to the other party if they want to accept or reject the offer.

Several reasons why a settlement may not be agreed on include:

  • The settlement offered isn’t considered reasonable to the plaintiff
  • The settlement demanded by the plaintiff isn’t considered reasonable
  • The defendant doesn’t offer a settlement at all, leaving the plaintiff with no choice but to go to trial
  • It makes more sense for a plaintiff to go to trial when punitive damages are involved to achieve larger awards

A settlement offer is typically made during the negotiation stage when an attorney is in contact with the involved insurance company. A personal injury lawyer can assess your accident and identify just how much your claim is worth.

The value of your claim takes the following damages into account after you’ve been injured in an accident:

  • Medical bills, including costs of ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and more
  • Lost wages or future earning capacity from missing weeks or months of work
  • Property damage, including costs of car repairs
  • Pain and suffering

It often makes sense for plaintiffs to reject the first settlement offer, especially if the amount offered is lower than the amount desired. A personal injury attorney can then draft a counteroffer that explains to the defendant why you deserve the compensation requested.

However, if negotiations break down and no other offers are made after you reject a settlement, you need to determine if you’re willing to take your case to court. Our trial attorney has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for injured clients and isn’t daunted by the possibility of going up against larger insurance companies.

Can I Sue After Accepting a Settlement?

One reason why many wouldn’t accept a settlement offer is that often, the at-fault party’s insurance company will require the victim to sign a liability waiver before they receive a settlement. This waiver is a legally binding form that forbids you from pursuing compensation for the same accident or suing the at-fault party.

Our attorney is available to walk you through your options so you can understand what is at stake when you accept or choose to reject a settlement offer.

Our Trial Lawyer Fights for You

As the founding attorney of the Law Offices of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, Steven J. Clearman has decades of experience going to trial for injured clients who are entitled to compensation after accidents. He’s been recognized in the community and among peers time and again for his success as a trial lawyer and his commitment to clients In need, including as a Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, among others. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, dog bite attack, or as a result of a product defect, you can trust our team to put your best interests first and aim for the results you want.

After an accident, you want to trust a team with a track record of success in personal injury cases. Our founding attorney is a Board Certified Personal Injury Specialist and can help you when you contact us online or by phone at (775) 573-0229 for a free consultation.