Once a car accident claim is settled with the insurance company, that is generally the end of the matter. However, there are a few exceptions. A person in this situation needs representation by a seasoned lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C can advise whether your settlement falls into this gray area.
Release of Liability
In settling a claim, you signed a legally binding contract known as release of liability. That means you have released the at-fault party from any more responsibility regarding the accident. It is a condition of accepting the proceeds from the settlement.
Should you discover the accident caused an injury you were unaware of when signing the release, there is little else to do. You are on your own for other medical bills, lost wages, and related costs. You cannot receive further damages.
It does not matter if you later discover your claim was worth much more. This is frequently the case when the accident victim fails to seek legal advice before settling with the insurance company. Understandably, you wanted a quick settlement after a car accident injury. It affected you physically, emotionally, and financially. Because you agreed to a settlement, the insurer has written off your claim. A car accident lawyer could have gotten you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
If You Did Not Sign the Settlement
If you did not sign the release of liability, thus not receiving the settlement, you can back out of the agreement and file a lawsuit. Your attorney knows a fair value for your case and will advise you accordingly.
If it turns out that your settlement was based on fraud, you may have the ability to reopen your claim. If you can show the at-fault party’s insurer negotiated with you and your lawyer in bad faith during the settlement process, you could have a case. However, these are challenging allegations to prove.
Multiple Parties Involved
If there were multiple parties involved in your accident and you only settled with one of them, you can still pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the others. Make sure your release of liability does not include other parties involved in the accident.
Every accident is unique. Perhaps you signed a waiver worded that “all known parties” were released from liability. You cannot sue the defendants and their insurers again. However, if it turns out that some party– who was unknown at the time of the crash– held partial liability, you may be able to reopen the claim.
What You Should Do Before Settling
Before settling any personal injury claim, obtain legal advice. You need someone representing your interests to negotiate with the insurance company. After any accident caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness, seek immediate medical attention. That is true even if you do not think you are hurt. Some injuries do not appear right away.
A prompt medical examination and diagnosis are crucial for your claim. If you wait to seek medical treatment, the insurance company may argue that another event was responsible for your injuries.
Gather every bill and receipt connected with your medical expenses. In addition, document your losses from missed time at work.
Contact a Rockland County NY and Bergen County NJ Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one settled with a car accident claim with the insurance company but feel that the settlement was unfair, you need the services of a Rockland County NY or Bergen County NJ car accident lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C.
Call or text us 24/7 or complete our online form to arrange a free consultation. After reviewing your claim, we will determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. All calls are confidential.