If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be offered a lump sum payment. This essentially means that the insurance company – which was insuring the driver who hit you – is responsible and just wants to close the case. They’re willing to pay you a total amount at the beginning in order to put everything behind them.
Many people in this situation find themselves facing high medical bills, lost wages and many other costs. They’re trying to alleviate this, so it’s very tempting to take the lump sum and get paid. That will certainly help them in the short term. But is this always the best idea?
You must know the full extent of your costs
The biggest problem with taking a lump sum is that this does close the case. They’re not responsible for paying you any amount of money later. They have taken care of that obligation.
As such, you definitely need to be sure that you know about the full extent of the costs and bills that you’re going to be facing. For instance, the lump sum may cover the medical bills that you have right now, but what if there are complications in the future? What if you need another surgery? All of that medical treatment does relate back to the accident that injured you, but you don’t want to agree to a lump sum if it means you won’t be able to collect the actual compensation you need.
How fast will you heal?
Another thing to consider is that a lump sum assumes that they can anticipate how fast you will heal and how long you will need treatment. And this can be true for some minor injuries. If you have a broken arm, for instance, doctors can typically give you a pretty solid timeframe for when it will heal.
But more severe types of injuries are a lot more difficult to pin down. For instance, some people end up with traumatic brain injuries that take months or years to heal. In some cases, they never do. You don’t want to accept the lump sum and find out later that you’re going to be dealing with issues for the rest of your life – issues that were not covered in that lump sum.
Situations like this can be very complex and it’s important to make the right decisions. Be sure you are well aware of your legal options.