definition of settlementIn general, after being hurt in an accident you should not attempt to settle your personal injury case until you have fully recovered from your injuries, were released from your treating physician’s care or you have reached a maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is where the injured person reaches a stage where their medical injury or condition cannot be improved any further, has reached a treatment plateau, and/or their treatment options have been exhausted.

When you have reached an end point in your treatment then the full extent of your injuries or damages will be ascertainable. In that case, you can determine what your damages are, understand what the value of your personal injury case is and how much to seek for compensation. Otherwise, if you try to settle your case too early (before you finished treatment), you may not receive the full amount of compensation for your injuries. This is because the full extent of your injuries, the required treatment and costs and expenses are not known at that time.

For Example: We represented a Framingham, MA resident that was injured in a car accident in Worcester, MA. He suffered a neck and shoulder injury in the crash. He was thought by his doctor to have a whip lash injury and treated for quite a while with physical therapy. After a few months he wanted to settle his case because he was frustrated with the lack of progress he was making with his treatment. His doctor, at that time, recommended an MRI of his cervical spine.  The MRI showed a herniated disc that was compressing on the nerve root in his neck. This resulted in thousands of dollars more in medical treatment, which significantly increased the value of his personal injury case.

As you can see from the example above, trying to settle your injury case too soon may result in much less compensation than waiting until you have determined the full extent of your injuries. But, be mindful of the statute of limitations. This is a deadline where you must file your lawsuit by or settle your case. If not, you will be forever barred from seeking damages for your injuries.

Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Injury Attorney in Massachusetts

If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced injury attorney in Massachusetts today. 

Call Mahaney & Pappas, LLP at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting and case evaluation.

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.