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Can I Recieve Compensation After Accepting an Auto Accident Settlement?

If your situation takes a turn for the worse can you get additional compensation even if you’ve already settled?

gavel and scales of justice

The vast majority of car accident claims will end in a settlement. Both sides will negotiate for a while, then mutually agree on a given amount of money to account for the victim’s injuries and other damages.

That amount is generally not an easy number to agree on. In a lot of cases, car accident victims have not completed their treatment the moment they file for compensation, so it’s important to account for future, relevant medical costs as well.

So if your situation takes a turn for the worse, and you need to file a lawsuit, can you still do it even if you’ve settled?

Sometimes. Get in touch with a St. Louis car accident attorney to find out more about your options. In the meantime, here is some general information.

When This Scenario Is Impossible

In a car accident claim, the compensation will generally be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In some cases, you may be required to sign a liability waiver or a type of release form before you can receive the settlement.

This is a legally binding document which often states you agree not to take any further legal action against the at-fault party. Because of this document, you will not be able to file a lawsuit or take any other type of legal action against the at-fault driver, even if your health gets worse.

In some cases, your lawyer may take the waiver in front of a judge and overrule it, but only if they either prove you did not understand what you were signing (if you were not represented, and the company did not explain what you are signing) or if there is proof of negligence and intent. That’s when the waiver may be annulled, but those are exceptional situations.

When You Can Sue after a Settlement

Whether you signed the waiver or not, filing a lawsuit after a settlement can be difficult. It’s only possible if there is a major change in your case.

For instance, if you have proof that the insurance company negotiated the settlement in bad faith, and even committed fraud, then you likely have a case.

Clear evidence of criminal intent could also allow you to sue the at-fault party in civil court and take the situation in front of a judge.

What Should You Do?

It’s important not to sign any document or settle with the insurance company until your St. Louis car accident lawyer reviews the case. There are many ‘tricks’ insurance companies routinely use to get victims to sign fast and accept lower settlements, and your lawyer can help protect you from these practices. Give us a call today at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.