Can You Seek Compensation After Settling a Personal Injury Case?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on June 2, 2022 and updated on July 8, 2022.

signing a document during daytimeMost personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement with an insurance company. The settlement provides compensation for the accident victim’s damages and releases the at-fault party from further liability. Once you accept a settlement, you will not be able to seek more compensation from the same party for the same injury even if your injury gets worse or you discover other damages.

However, some exceptions that exist that may allow you to pursue a lawsuit against another party that may be at fault for your injury. Learn more about what happens after accepting a settlement, as well as your potential options for seeking more compensation after settling a personal injury case.

An experienced attorney at our firm is ready to review your situation, answer any questions you may have and determine if you have a valid case in a free initial consultation. We have helped many accident victims and their families seek the maximum compensation possible for their damages over more than 30 years.

What Happens After Accepting a Settlement?

Generally, the at-fault party’s insurance company will require the accident victim to sign a liability waiver or release form. This legally binding document states the amount of compensation the victim will receive and states that the at-fault party is free from any further liability for the accident. It also releases the insurance company from liability for any injuries and damages caused by the at-fault party.

If you accept a settlement and sign it, you are giving up your right to take any additional legal action against the at-fault party or the insurance company for damages that resulted from that same accident. If your injury happens to get worse in the future, you will not be able to seek more compensation.

This is why it is important to know the extent of your injuries and damages and how long they may impact your life. If your injuries require ongoing treatment, this can be quite costly. The last thing you want is to have to pay out of pocket for expenses that could have been included in your settlement.

An attorney can help with settlement negotiations and help you understand the terms you are agreeing to. He or she can also help determine how much your case is worth so that you are fairly compensated.

Steps to Take Before Settling a Personal Injury Case

There are certain steps you should take to protect yourself before signing a settlement offer:

  • Getting medical treatment – A doctor can properly diagnose your injuries. Accident victims often experience delayed symptoms after an injury. It may be several days or even weeks until you start feeling additional aches and pains. If you have already accepted a settlement, it will be too late to seek more compensation. Not seeing a doctor or stopping medical treatment early can also make the insurance company question your injuries and whether they are serious or connected to the accident.
  • Evaluating future medical needs – Although you may not know exactly what medical treatment you may need in the future, your attorney can consult with a medical expert to evaluate your injuries and whether you may require ongoing care. This may include follow-up surgeries, multiple doctor’s visits, pain management therapies and other medical treatments.
  • Considering the economic impact of your injury – Perhaps your injury has impacted your quality of life or ability to work and earn a living. If your injury prevents you from working, you may be able to seek compensation for not just lost wages, but loss of future earning capacity.

Having an attorney by your side with years of experience handling various personal injury cases can help you get a better understanding of the full value of your claim and the damages you may be able to seek.

When You May Be Able to Sue After a Settlement

There are rare situations when you may be able to file a lawsuit after accepting a settlement.

For instance, if the at-fault party’s insurance company was acting in bad faith or committed fraud during settlement negotiations, you may be able to take further legal action. However, it is difficult to prove fraud. You will need a qualified Maryland personal injury attorney to help guide you in these cases.

If multiple parties were responsible for the accident and your injuries, you may be able to take further legal action against another party besides the party you settled with. It is important to note that the other party would only be liable for his or her percentage of fault in the accident.

Additionally, you may be able to take further legal action if the accident was caused by a manufacturer’s negligence. Perhaps you have filed a claim against the at-fault driver but later find out that a defective vehicle part contributed to the accident. You may have a separate claim against the manufacturer.

Unsure If You Have a Case? Call Our Firm Today

Our attorneys are experienced settlement negotiators and are ready to help determine what your potential case may be worth. We have helped secure millions in compensation for our clients. The initial consultation is free of charge without any obligation involved.

Contact us today to get started. We charge no upfront fees to take on a case and no fees while we work on a case. We only receive payment for our services if we help you obtain a recovery.

Call 410-401-9979 to learn how we may be able to help.