Can I Settle My Case
Before I Finish Treatment?
01/13/2021 By Justin Kallal
The short answer is no. It’s almost always better to finish your medical treatment before you and your attorney attempt to settle your case. Once a settlement is reached, it is final. You cannot go back and make additional claims for future medical treatment that you may receive.
The long answer is possibly. In certain circumstances, you may need medical care that is ongoing for an extended period of time (or even the rest of your life) so you may have to settle your case before you finish treatment. However, this would occur after your doctors can assess with a reasonable degree of medical certainty what your future medical treatment and cost will be. If you settle your case before knowing this, then you may not be fully compensated for your injuries.
The same is true if you have permanent injuries. You do not want to settle your claim until your doctors can tell you with a reasonable degree of medical certainty what your future limitations will be. Knowing this will allow you and your attorney to obtain compensation for your permanent injuries and any lost wages that will occur because of your permanent physical limitations.
Another factor that may play into your decision is the statute of limitations. Some people do not reach the height of their improvement for several years due to complications with treatment or other unusual circumstances. Consequently, you would need to file a demand and/or lawsuit before the statute of limitations, but hopefully, by that time, your future treatment should be clearer.
The decision to settle your case before your medical treatment is finished is a complicated one. It should only be made with the assistance of both your treating medical providers and an experienced injury attorney.