Is verbal agreement to a settlement final in Florida?
Daytona Beach, FL – Negotiating a settlement for a personal injury claim in Florida is not for the weak of heart. One of the most common mistakes people make is readily agreeing to a settlement, especially when the insurance representative insists they will not get another offer. When they put a lot of pressure on you, you may cave and say you agree to the settlement, but is a verbal agreement enforceable? What if you think it over and realize the offer won’t actually cover your financial losses, let alone your pain and suffering? Can you go back on your word? If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to contact knowledgeable Daytona Beach personal injury lawyers immediately. Maybe it’s not too late to get a better deal.
When is a verbal agreement enforceable in Florida?
The first thing your lawyers will do is examine the context. Did you agree to having the conversation taped, so they have you on record accepting the settlement? In this case it may be difficult to rescind a verbal agreement. Only seasoned Florida personal injury lawyers can help you now.
For instance, your lawyers can send a letter rescinding the verbal agreement, claiming it was given at a time when you were under a lot of stress and in no condition to think things through.
Insurance representatives are very adept at speculating any moment of weakness. As an example, they may pester you with calls while you’re in the hospital preparing for surgery. They know you’re worried about the bills and scared of the surgery, so that would be the perfect time for them to convince you to settle.
If you did not agree to having the conversation taped, it will be much easier to rescind the agreement. As a general rule, skilled personal injury lawyers warn their clients not to give recorded statements to the insurance company. They may try to tell you that you must give a recorded statement concerning the accident you were injured in, but that is simply not true. The only reason they want you on record is to use whatever you say against you.
What if I already signed the agreement?
That’s probably the biggest mistake you could have made. Once you sign the settlement offer it’s almost impossible to back out of the agreement. To rescind the agreement, your lawyers would have to invoke extraordinary circumstances, like you were coerced into signing or you lacked the mental capacity to understand what you were signing.
Bear in mind that most settlement offers include clauses releasing the insurance company from any future liability. Say you agreed to settle but you discover you may need additional surgery for your injury. If you signed the release form you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask them to cover the costs of the surgery and the lost wages.
Also, remember that you do not have to make up your mind on the spot. Do not let them intimidate you. If they make an offer, tell them you’ll need a few days to consider it. Contact your lawyers and have them review the offer. If the offer is close to your total economic and non-economic losses, your lawyers will tell you to take the offer. However, if the offer is much lower than what you truly deserve – which is often the case -, your lawyers will start negotiating with the insurance company. At this point, let your lawyers do their job while you focus on regaining your health.
If you were recently injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence anywhere in the Daytona Beach area, schedule a consultation with a trustworthy accident lawyer at the Pappas & Russell PA law firm and see how you can recover your losses.
Phone: (386) 254-2941
213 Silver Beach Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
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