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By Jarome Gautreaux

When considering a personal injury settlement, you will want to approach the decision with caution and informed judgment. Common reasons to decline such an offer include the settlement amount not fully covering medical expenses, lost wages, and future care costs. Additionally, hastily accepting a settlement can lead to regrets if subsequent unaccounted health conditions arise. Moreover, settlements typically require the plaintiff to waive further legal claims, which could be a mistake if the full extent of the injury and its impacts still need to be fully understood. Therefore, thorough evaluation and legal consultation are essential before deciding to accept a personal injury settlement.

Number of Reasons Why Someone Might Refuse A Personal Injury Settlement Offer 

Someone might not want to accept a personal injury settlement offer for several reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Inadequate Compensation: The most common reason for rejecting a personal injury settlement is that the amount offered is too low. The settlement might not fully cover the victim’s current and future medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses related to the injury. Accepting an inadequate settlement can leave the injured party feeling financial stress.
  2. Dispute Over Liability: Sometimes, the party making the settlement offer does not fully accept liability, or there is a disagreement over who is at fault for the injury. The injured party may not want to take the offer if the settlement significantly compromises the perception of blame or responsibility. 
  3. Uncertainty About the Full Extent of Injuries: In some cases, the full extent of the injuries has yet to be discovered. Accepting a settlement too early, before understanding the complete medical situation and potential for future complications, can result in compensation that may not cover long-term health issues.
  4. Emotional Factors: Sometimes, the settlement may be more about seeking justice or holding the responsible party accountable than just the money. An injured person might reject a settlement if it feels like doing so would be letting the other party off too quickly, primarily if the injury resulted from hazardous behavior.
  5. Negotiation Tactics and Advice from Legal Counsel: In some negotiation strategies, rejecting an initial offer is common to signal that the injured party expects more and is prepared to go to court if necessary, sometimes leading to a better settlement. A personal injury attorney might advise against accepting a settlement if it is not in the client’s best interest. This may be the case due to the reasons mentioned above or because the attorney believes that going to trial could result in a more favorable outcome.
  6. Public Awareness or Policy Change: In cases where the injury resulted from a widespread issue or systemic problem (for example, if the accident was due to an individual found to be driving under the influence), the injured party might refuse a settlement in favor of taking the case to trial to bring public attention to the matter or to effect change in policy or law.
  7. Terms and Conditions: Sometimes, the settlement comes with conditions or confidentiality clauses that the injured party finds unacceptable. For example, they might not want to agree to a non-disclosure agreement or other restrictions.


Deciding to reject a personal injury settlement should be made after careful consideration of all the relevant factors and, ideally, with the guidance of a personal injury attorney. Gautreaux Law has attorneys with multiple years of experience handling personal injury matters. Once a client retains us, we make sure always to be there. We value clear and open communication and work hard to ensure that our clients know what is happening and what the next steps are in their case. Contact our firm for an initial complimentary consultation to help us determine if you have a solid case based on the circumstances of your accident. We can help you decide whether the offered settlement compensates you appropriately.

About the Author
Jarome Gautreaux is a personal injury trial lawyer. He represents people who have been seriously injured, as well as the families of people killed because of carelessness or negligence. For over 20 years, he has successfully recovered more than 100 million dollars in a variety of Macon personal injury cases. Jarome’s reputation for client focus and case success has led to other lawyers requesting his assistance with complex personal injury litigation. What drives Jarome every day is his strong belief that the amount of money someone has should not dictate the justice they receive. It is for this reason that he has never worked for corporations, insurance companies, or other interest groups. Instead, he thrives on helping the people who need it most- people who have suffered at the hands of others and deserve compensation.