When to Settle a Case

Robert Edwards Feb. 15, 2013

I got a call earlier this week from a fellow whose brother had been in a car accident here in Anoka County about a month ago and was laid up at home with severe low back pain ever since. This fellow kept asking me what I thought his brother should settle his case for. I explained that it was way too soon to give any kind of an intelligent opinion on something like that. At this point in time all we really know is that his brother has severe low back pain. It might go away in two weeks and he's good as new. Or, it might not go away, he might need low back surgery, and that might turn out badly and he's confined to wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Minnesota has a six-year statute of limitations for almost every case arising out of negligent conduct by the other side. That is among the longest, if not the longest statute of limitations in the country, and it should be used to the advantage of the injured person. Once the case is settled there is no going back. Personal injury cases are not like workers compensation cases, where medical expenses in the future can be left open. Once an injured person signs the settlement document, anything that happens after that date is their responsibility, not the defendant's or his/her insurance company. So, if you are going to settle a case you had better be very sure of what your past and future damages will be, including medical expenses, wage loss, pain, suffering, disability, and emotional distress.If you need help figuring this out contact a qualified, experienced, personal injury attorney.