Can You Pursue More Compensation After Agreeing to Settle Your Injury Claim?
There are many steps involved in pursuing compensation for an injury caused by another’s negligence. One of the final steps is often signing a settlement release with the at-fault party’s insurance company (or the victim’s own carrier for uninsured or underinsured settlements.)
Why is signing a settlement release one of the final steps?
To put it simply, once you sign a settlement release you are releasing the insurance company (and their insured bad driver) from future liability related to the crash in question. That means you are unable to file more claims or lawsuits, with rare exceptions.
Below, we discuss why it is very unlikely victims can file more claims after signing a settlement release. If you were injured in a car crash, or another type of accident, give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation. We have been securing compensation for injury victims for decades and have obtained millions on behalf of our clients.
Why Signing a Settlement Usually Closes a Case
Insurance companies would not settle a case unless it provided some benefit to them. Even though a settlement requires them to pay money to the victim, settlements have clauses that release insurance companies from all past current and future liability. That means the victim waives his or her right to file any more claims or lawsuits regarding the accident.
The settlement agreement typically has a clause saying you accept compensation as resolution of all your claims. Once the settlement agreement is signed by the parties involved, the settlement becomes a legally binding contract.
What if You Later Discover You Need More Money?
There are times when victims realize they need more money for the damages caused by their injuries. Maybe they have run out of compensation but still need to attend doctor’s appointments or need more income to make up for a loss of earning capacity.
Unfortunately, there is usually no way to pursue more compensation for your damages. The settlement offer you signed is legally binding. It does not matter how severe your injuries are or how desperate your financial situation may be.
That is why it is so important to make sure the settlement offer provides all the compensation you will need before you sign it. It is crucial to work with an experienced Bloomington personal injury lawyer who has done this before and has a record of success. You want to be sure the settlement you are signing covers the full cost of all your past and future damages.
When Could You File Another Claim After Settling a Case?
If there were multiple at-fault parties, you may be able to file claims against any parties you have not already settled with. The release from liability in a settlement agreement only applies to that insurance company, not others. A Pierrenger Release with the majority at fault insurance carrier would allow the victim to pursue other tortfeasors in the same crash.
For example, if you were injured because of another’s negligence and the negligence of a product manufacturer, you may be able to settle the claim against the individual’s insurance company and continue to pursue the product manufacturer.
What if There Are No Other Parties to File Claims Against?
You might be able to reopen a claim if you can prove you were coerced into signing a settlement, your mental capacity was limited or that the insurance company committed fraud. While insurance companies often make misleading statements or try to delay the legal process, proving an insurance company committed fraud is almost impossible.
This is something you should discuss with an experienced attorney. Our experienced attorneys have extensive knowledge of Minnesota’s Good Faith Law and what it requires insurance companies to do while handling a claim.
Steps to Take Before Settling a Case
Signing a settlement offer before discussing it with a licensed attorney is a bad idea. How can you be sure the settlement provides the compensation you need for medical bills and other damages? How do you know the different releases available to keep other claims viable or to preserve the next level of coverage such as underinsured claims with a Schmidt notice?
Talking to an attorney should give you peace of mind that someone committed to your best interests is evaluating your claim. You want to make sure a settlement will provide the compensation you need for medical treatment and other damages, so you do not need to pay for things out of your own pocket.
Contact TSR Injury Law to Discuss Your Claim
You do not need to go through the legal process alone. A licensed attorney from TSR Injury Law may be able to help you, and hiring an attorney often results in recovering more compensation than if you go through the legal process alone.
There are no upfront fees or legal obligations with our services. That means there is no financial risk in contacting our firm to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. We are dedicated to securing maximum compensation to help you and your family during this difficult time.
Give us a call today to learn more. Call (612) TSR-TIME.