Can You Still File A Lawsuit if You Agreed on a Settlement?

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People get injured all the time and in various ways (car, truck, motorcycle accidents).

In most cases, people who suffered such injuries get settlements without getting to court.

This way, you and the other party agree upon an amount for the injuries you suffered.

The amount of compensation that you agreed upon is often the entire amount that you will receive. Even if later you learn that your damages could have gotten a higher award, you will not be able to get anything more.

Once you agreed on a settlement, you cannot sue afterward. There are some exceptions where injured victims can file a lawsuit after they got a settlement.

If the injured victim is about to accept a settlement, they need to contact a Huntersville personal injury attorney for a consultation. Your attorney would explain everything to you, including if you could file a lawsuit if you agree on a settlement.

When can you not sue after settlement?

Once you have filed for a personal injury claim, the liable party’s insurance company would require you to sign a liability waiver or release form before they can receive a settlement.

This way, the liability release works as a legally required contract that the victim should comply as a condition of getting the settlement. Often, it states that the victim accepts the settlement amount as complete satisfaction of all claims. The victim also agrees not to take further steps against the liable parties (suing).

This disclaimer assures the insurance company that the victim will not continue seeking compensation for the same accident.
Even if the victim later finds out that their injuries were worse and that they could have gotten a higher settlement, they might still be contractually obliged to the terms of the settlement.

Things to do before accepting a settlement

Here are the most important steps you need to take to protect your rights before signing your settlement.

  • Seeking medical examination – Get medical treatment immediately after the accident. The doctor will examine your condition and would set a diagnosis. Follow your doctor’s order and procedures so you could heal and recover faster.
  • What are the economic impacts of your injury – Economic effects of your injury show how it affects your earning ability and whether it would prevent you from being able to work in the future. If your injury permanently prevents you from working, you could seek compensation for your lost earning capacity.
  • Consult a lawyer – Your lawyer will help you understand your settlement, and what you could do after you sign it. They should be able to tell you if it is a smart idea to sign it and if the terms work best for you.

When can you sue after a settlement?

There are rare exceptions when the victim could still file a lawsuit against the liable party. These are the cases:

  • Multiple Parties were Involved in Your Accident – There are cases where more than one defendant was liable for the accident. Your liability disclaimer is valid only against the party your claim was filed against. You could still hold your right to sue anyone else who is at fault.
    Also, you may sign a release of every party at the time and then later discover that there was an unknown party who had partial fault for the accident. In such a case, you may still seek compensation from the newly-discovered party.
  • Fraud – If the liable party’s insurance company defrauded you and your lawyer during the settlement negotiations, you might have a case and sue. But, such cases are very rare and often too difficult to prove.
  • The settlement was reached before the lawsuit – If you are about to complete a settlement for a car accident claim, make sure you consult a personal injury attorney. Hiring a lawyer at this phase of the settlement might not lead to renegotiations. You will have two options – to sign the release and accept the settlement or file a lawsuit and take your case to court.

It is important to talk to an experienced attorney before signing anything. The claim you get might not be enough to cover your injuries and damages. This is why you should never gamble with things like this.

Make sure you get a skilled and experienced attorney who will advise you in the further process and be by your side till the end.

Call our office today and schedule your first consultation. We will review your case.

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