Can a Car Accident Claim Be Reopened?

You may have some regrets after you agree to settle a personal injury case. Perhaps you wish that you could reopen the case. Is this possible? Can you reopen a car insurance claim? Unfortunately, the short answer is no. You can’t reopen a car accident claim after you agree to settle it. Because a settlement agreement is final, you must ensure that you maximize the money you receive from a personal injury settlement. An experienced accident attorney can help you meet that goal. If you have suffered injuries after being in a car accident, call a car accident lawyer in your area.

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What Is a Release of Liability?

A release of liability for a personal injury case is an agreement, usually between an insurance company and an injured victim, that ends a lawsuit. If you sign a release of liability, you cannot reopen the now-closed car insurance claim. Before you sign a release of liability, speak to an accident attorney in your area.

What Does a Release of Liability Do?

Once a car accident claim is closed, you cannot reopen it. A release of liability ends a personal injury settlement. A release of liability eliminates your ability to sue the insurance company or the defendant for the damage caused by the car accident in the future. A release of liability also prevents you from receiving any future payments from the insurance company.

What Is In a Release of Liability Agreement?

A release of liability contains the details of the agreement between the insurance company and the accident victim. The purpose of a release of liability is to end the litigation, so the agreement will contain all the pertinent information for settlement.

Depending on the facts of the case, you will receive a release of liability that includes:

  • The monetary amount of the final settlement
  • Any outstanding medical bills
  • Any subrogation liens filed by Medicaid/Medicare
  • The insurance company’s statement denies liability for the accident

The most important term of a release of liability is the statement made by the insurance company denying liability. You must thoroughly read it, and to ensure that you understand the terms, consult a car accident lawyer before you sign the release. This agreement is final, and by signing it, you affirm that the insurance company is not liable for your injuries.

What Should I Consider Before Signing a Release of Liability?Car Accident Claim Be Reopened?

Hire a lawyer and discuss the consequences of signing a release of liability. Since signing a release of liability settles the case, ensure that the settlement amount covers all your damages. You must calculate your total losses before you sign a release. Once you have a closed insurance claim you cannot receive additional compensation for medical expenses and other damages.

Maximum Medical Improvement

You should not sign a settlement release until you reach maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is a status that shows your car accident injuries have improved as much as possible. Your doctor will indicate that you have reached maximum medical improvement in your medical records.

Do Not Bend to Pressure from the Insurance Company

Never bend to the pressure an insurance company puts on you to settle your claim. To protect its bottom line, an insurance company will pressure an accident victim to quickly settle their car accident claim. However, that is rarely the best way to maximize your settlement amount. Wait until you are sure that the settlement offer will cover all your damages. To help you battle the insurance company, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to help you recover all the compensation you deserve.

Do Not Discount Your Intangible Damages

Many accident victims are prone to downplay their injuries, especially their mental and emotional trauma and their pain and suffering. Any settlement offer should cover tangible and intangible damages. An injury lawyer can help you calculate your mental and emotional pain and suffering damages. An experienced lawyer is familiar with the claims process and can recognize an unreasonably low settlement offer and pursue additional compensation for you.

Name Every Potentially Responsible Defendant in Your Lawsuit

It is common for multiple parties to share responsibility for your harm. Each party must pay for their part in your injuries. Before you sign a release with any insurance company, ensure that you have listed all potentially responsible parties. A personal injury lawyer can help you make sure that you name all potentially responsible parties.

What Should I Do if I Do Not Agree to the Terms of a Release of Liability?

If you do not agree to the terms of the release, do not sign it. The release of liability ends a personal injury lawsuit. Remember that you are not required to agree to any settlement offer proposed to you by an insurance company. You can counteroffer, and if an agreement is still not reached-you can file a lawsuit.

If you are uncomfortable with the amount of early settlement offers, do not accept them. Never accept a proposed settlement offer if your only reason is to relieve the pressure you feel from the insurance company. Insurance companies do not get the final say in final judgment amounts.

Before you start negotiating with an insurance company, hire a personal injury lawyer. When it comes to car accident cases, a personal injury lawyer can be a valuable resource. An attorney will advise you about the best settlement offer, tell you if you should accept a settlement offer, and inform you of your realistic chances of getting a positive outcome at trial. Contact a lawyer immediately if you suffered an injury in a car accident.

You deserve to recover fully from all your injuries. You do not have to bow down to the demands of an insurance company. If you suffer an injury in a car accident, or if a car accident damages your property, you need compensation for it. Call a local personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for your injuries. We work to hold the at-fault driver accountable, review their insurance policy, and negotiate a fair settlement agreement with the insurer.

How Do Insurance Companies Trick Car Accident Victims?

It is important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Because they are concerned about their bottom line, they will use tactics to reduce the number of settlements they pay out.

Many insurance companies will send out quick settlement offers to accident victims to attempt to resolve the insurance claim cheaply.

Other examples of insurance companies acting in bad faith include:

  • The adjuster draws out settling your insurance claim. You must comply with the applicable statute of limitations for your case to continue.
  • An insurance adjuster may downplay your injuries or try to shift the blame for your injuries. If an insurance company successfully argues that it is not responsible for injuries, it protects its profit margin and lower your claim value.
  • The insurer may attempt to avoid investigating your claim.

Hire a personal injury lawyer to help you avoid these common insurance company tactics. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, call a local personal injury lawyer today. We can ensure your car accident claim is evaluated fairly and the claim settlement is fair.

Is Signing a Release of Liability a Good Idea?

Whether signing a release of liability is the best idea for you depends on the facts of your case. In some instances, signing a release and settling the case is a great idea. However, in other cases signing a release of liability can leave you in a terrible state. You may not know how your injuries will develop over time. A head injury that may cause headaches now can indicate a more serious condition.

Remember, you cannot have the claim reopened to pay compensation for additional expenses. An experienced lawyer will take into account things like future medical bills, future earning capacity, ongoing care, and the long-term implications of your case.

What if Multiple Parties Are Responsible for the Car Accident?

If you have been in a car accident, there may be more than one at-fault party responsible for your damages. If you settle with a party who injured you, but your damages increase, you cannot reopen a case you settled. You may find additional relief available if more than one party injured you.

If the cause of the car crash was both the negligence of the driver and a defect found in the car’s engine, you might have a claim against the driver and the engine’s manufacturer. In this situation, different insurance companies likely represent the driver and the engine manufacturer. Because of that, you might settle with one insurance company and not with the other.

If this situation arises, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process of getting your damages covered by each defendant. A personal injury lawyer will work with each insurance company to get the maximum compensation available in a car crash case. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, call a personal injury lawyer in your area.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

A personal injury lawyer helps protect your rights and interests after a car accident. An attorney will perform different kinds of work to protect your rights and interests.

Your attorney will ensure that your case complies with all applicable procedural rules to protect your right to sue. Laws and requirements vary from state to state, and a party to a lawsuit must follow those laws, or a court will dismiss their claim.

For example, you must comply with the statute of limitations, or the court will dismiss your case. There are many procedural rules. Failure to follow these rules will have fatal consequences for your case. An experienced accident attorney knows these rules and how to comply with them. If you hire an accident lawyer, you can rest assured that your case will not fail based on a technical issue.

An accident attorney will also negotiate on your behalf. Insurance companies are intimidating. Insurance adjusters have one goal: to protect the company’s bottom line. They will work hard to ensure that your claim does not negatively impact the company’s profit. If you have an accident attorney, insurance companies are less likely to use the same scare tactics against unrepresented accident victims.

What If I Cannot Afford an Accident Attorney?

Do not fret if you cannot afford an accident attorney. Most personal injury attorneys across the country work on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee agreement is a payment structure arrangement where the attorney agrees to allow the client to pay for legal services after a case resolves. A contingency fee arrangement allows a client who may not have the money to pay for legal services the ability to pursue compensation after a car accident.

You must reduce a contingency fee agreement to writing. Both the client and the attorney must sign it before any legal work can begin. Like any other contract, you can customize your contingency fee agreement. Common terms contained in contingency fee agreements include litigation costs and the percentage that an attorney will take as their payment.

Litigation costs are expenses that arise during the lawsuit. Examples include filing fees, costs for copies, postage expenses, payment for expert witness testimony, etc. An attorney may prepay litigation costs for the client if the client reimburses the firm when the case concludes. A client can choose to pay litigation costs as the case continues.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today

After you get into a car accident, get medical help immediately and then call an accident lawyer. The best thing that you can do for yourself is contact an experienced accident attorney. A car accident attorney’s job is to protect your legal rights and interests.

Never try to take on the insurance companies by yourself. When you hire an accident attorney, you can rest assured that your rights are protected. You do not have to worry about the legal side of the case, and you can focus on recovery. If you suffered an injury in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer today.

February 13, 2024
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