Most personal injury claims end in a settlement in which you receive an agreed-upon amount of money for the injuries you suffered.
The amount of compensation that you agreed to is typically all that you will receive even if you later discover that you had damages in excess of this award. In most cases, you cannot sue after a settlement. However, there are some exceptions where victims can still file a lawsuit after receiving a settlement.
If you were injured in an accident and are considering accepting a settlement, it is important to contact an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer to review your claim. He or she will work to ensure you take all necessary steps before agreeing to a settlement and will work to protect your interests during this important time in your claim.
When You Cannot Sue After a Settlement
When an accident victim files a personal injury claim, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely require the victim to sign a liability waiver or release form before he or she can receive a settlement.
The liability release is a legally binding contract that you must comply with as a condition of receiving the settlement proceeds. It usually states that you are accepting the settlement amount as full satisfaction of all claims and that you agree not to take any further legal action against the at-fault party.
Additionally, this waiver also assures the insurance company that you will not continue to pursue compensation for the same accident. This include any legal claim you may have against the at-fault party at the time of signing the release.
Even if you later find out that your injuries were worse than you thought, you may still be contractually bound to the terms of the settlement.
What to Do Before Accepting a Settlement
Because of the implications of agreeing to a liability release as part of a settlement, it is important that you take all steps necessary to protect your rights before signing. This includes:
- Seeking medical attention: Get medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident to examine and diagnosis any injuries you may have. Additionally, follow all of your doctor’s orders and prescribed treatment so that you can recover from your injury as fast as possible.
- Consider the economic effects of your injury: This can include how your injury may affect your ability to earn a living by preventing you from working. If your injury permanently prevents you from working, you may be able to pursue compensation for your lost earning capacity.
- Talk to a personal injury attorney : A lawyer will review your claim to help you have a better understanding of its potential value. He or she can help you understand a release form to determine whether agreeing with its terms is in your best interest.
When You Can Sue After a Settlement
In some rare exceptions, you may still be able to file a lawsuit after agreeing to a settlement. This includes:
Multiple Parties were Involved in Your Accident
In some situations, multiple defendants may have contributed to the accident. Unless your liability waiver releases each party involved in the accident, it is only valid against the party your claim was filed against, and you still retain your right to sue anyone else who may have shared fault.
Alternatively, you may sign a release pertaining to all known parties at the time and then discover later that there was an unknown party who was partially responsible for the accident. You may still be able to pursue compensation against the newly discovered party as long as Florida’s four-year statute of limitations has not expired.
If the at-fault party’s insurance company entered into the settlement in bad faith and defrauded you and your attorney during the settlement negotiations, you may have a case. However, this is rare and very difficult to prove. You will need an experienced lawyer to advise you on this type of situation.
Contact Gordon & Partners for Qualified Legal Assistance
Before you sign a liability release and agree to the terms of an insurance settlement, it is important you understand the true extent of your injuries and the consequences of signing a release.
At Gordon & Partners, our dedicated attorneys are experienced in working with insurance companies to secure fair settlements for our clients. We will conduct a thorough investigation into your claim and the cause of the accident to find out the full extent of injuries and losses you may have suffered.
We will use our knowledge and skills to help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim with our attorneys. We will not charge you any legal fees unless you recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Call 1 (855) 722-2552 to get started.