Some time ago, you were involved in a car accident where you settled with the insurance company either through a lawsuit or privately. However, after getting compensated, you finally realize that the money you were paid as compensation would not be enough because you are now faced with long-term disability and a high medical cost.
This has left you wondering, “can a lawsuit be reopened after settlement”?. You are left with thoughts of reopening the case and getting extra or further compensation. The truth is eight out of ten times, you cannot reopen a case once a settlement has been reached and compensation has been paid regardless if you settled a lawsuit or privately.
The only thing here is there are uncommon cases where you, as a victim, might be allowed to revisit a case even after a settlement has been reached between both parties and the case has been closed. If you would like to file for a lawsuit privately or want a case reopened or revisited, you should consult with your attorney.
Your attorney would be in the best position to examine the terms of the settlement and the case that has settled to see if it would be possible for the case to reopen.
Can A Lawsuit Be Reopened After Settlement?
After settling with a defendant even outside the walls of a courtroom, you can’t reopen that case again, and even though this news might be a bit defeating, you should be able to realize that some major components support this. These components are there so you and the defendant can be protected. Even though you might not be allowed to revisit an already closed case, there is still a possibility of seeking compensation from a third party connected to the case.
Signing Of General Release
Before any insurance company hands you a settlement check, you would have to sign a general release. This general release is considered the biggest roadblock that prevents you from reopening a case that has already been closed. It basically blocks out the possibility of revisiting an already closed case. You must sign the general release after agreeing with the insurance company on the amount that you would receive as compensation.
The general release states that you are setting the defendant and his insurance company free from any future costs or claims related to the incident. Signing this general release simply means signing off on the rights to seek further compensation if the need ever arises. Signing a release of liability simply bounds you legally to the general release, and the case would never be reopened or revisited.
Circumstances That Might Cause You To Get Further Compensation
In very rare cases, you might be able to reopen a lawsuit or claim even after they have been closed. The only time this is feasible is the insurance company’s inability to reach a settlement amount. In some other cases, an accident victim might go into negotiations with an insurance company, receive a settlement, and be asked to sign the general release of liability. The accident victim can change his mind and say he is not okay with the amount offered.
However, the case is still very much active because a waiver hasn’t been signed yet. Still, if there is anyone in this situation, the best advice is for such a person to get legal advice from an attorney to resolve the dispute, and a settlement can be reached. Most of the time, insurance companies would try to take advantage of an accident victim who has no attorney to guide them. They are aware that you would not read through the lines of whatever they are offering because you want your check today.
No matter how down you are financial, you must exercise patience before signing the liability waiver. It would not be easy to turn back from it the moment you sign the waiver. You would also not get any further compensation if you cash the check that the insurance company has offered you.
This is why you need to have an attorney by your side during negotiations. They would be there to help you negotiate and go through the general release of liability and ensure everything is in your favor.