Can someone sue you after insurance pays?
Let’s say you have settled a claim with the insurance company for a specific amount. Does this mean you cannot file another lawsuit after you agreed to a settlement? If so, who are you limited against? Is there a maximum amount you could receive? Below is an article where our skilled personal injury attorneys discuss the aftermath and the consequences of settlement negotiations.
Settling for a specific amount of money may leave the plaintiff with several questions. Our trusted personal injury attorneys in California at Heidari Law always advise our clients of the different repercussions that could happen as a result of settling with the other party. There are certain circumstances where you could still pursue legal claims against the other party even after you have settled the claim. It depends on the situation.
Can a lawsuit be reopened after settlement?
Generally, no. When a settlement is reached between both parties, a party is asked to sign a written release. The release states that the other party is free from any liability from the accident and prevents any other lawsuits dealing with the same claim. The settlement amount is paid in return for a promise not to sue. The only reason why insurance companies offer settlements is that they do not want to get sued and have to go to trial. If settlement meant that parties would still have the right to sue, then insurance companies would not be able to offer settlement amounts. The release that is signed by both parties after a settlement is an agreement that legally binds the party from bringing forth another legal claim. If you file a lawsuit with the court immediately after accepting a settlement, the court will immediately dismiss the case. Even if the judge does not throw away the lawsuit or dismiss it, it may be difficult to win the lawsuit. If you lose the lawsuit, then you are responsible for the legal fees for the other party. This could end up costing the plaintiff thousands of dollars. That is why it is very important that the settlement amount be thorough and a final amount that could compensate the plaintiff for all their injuries. Personal injury attorneys that are not very experienced could end up settling the claim for a lower amount than expected.
In cases where the plaintiff could show that the settlement amount was offered because of fraud or coercion, the plaintiff will be able to bring the case to court. This is a very high standard that the plaintiff will have to prove.
What will my lawyer do during settlement?
Initially, your skilled personal injury attorney will file a claim against the other party. These formal documents are filed against the defendant. The next step would be that your lawyer will try to gather as much evidence as possible during the discovery phase. The discovery phase is when each party discovers information regarding their claim from the other side. Each party is required to turn in information, even evidence that may harm them. Depositions are questions and answers under oath and assist the parties when agreeing to a settlement amount. It’s very rare that lawsuits end up going to trial. Reasons for this could be because lawsuits could be very costly. Experts who testified in court have high salaries that must be paid.
Can someone sue you after the insurance company pays?
Anyone who has car insurance does have the chance to be sued by another party. However, having insurance will give you peace of mind as your insurance company deals with the victim who has been hurt in the accident. Your insurance company pays to defend you. Your insurance will assist you when you are sued in an accident. However, sometimes the plaintiff will have to come after you personally rather than to your insurance company. Reasons why include:
- When you fail to pay your insurance that month and are considered “uninsured”
- When the insurance amount liability does not cover all costs. If the plaintiff only collects a small amount from the insurance company, then the plaintiff could potentially come after you for the rest of the amount.
- When filing a claim with the insurance company takes too long: when the plaintiff has been severely injured and needs money immediately to pay off medical bills, the plaintiff has the option to sue you personally to get the money quickly.
What should I do before accepting my settlement offer?
To ensure that the settlement offer will be enough, there are several steps we advise our clients to take before accepting the offer. These steps include:
- Make sure that you have sought all the medical attention necessary: This is important in determining past and future medical bills. A medical professional will be able to determine if there will be any need for medical treatments in the future.
- Documentation: your personal injury attorney will try to gather documentation that supports damages claims
- Lost wages: it is important to consult with an expert to determine if you are able to go back to work. If not, then the settlement amount will have to be increased.
What should I do after accepting my settlement offer?
It is very important that you understand the damages before you sign the settlement offer. If you are involved in a very significant accident and have sustained major injuries, you most likely will need a higher settlement amount. Do not settle for a lower amount if it does not cover the cost of your injuries. That is why it is very important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue those claims for you and ensure you get maximum compensation.
Contact an experienced attorney today!
Contact us for a free no-risk consultation where we will advise you of the legal strategies we can take to ensure maximum compensation for your claim. We have been helping clients settle and go to trial for their personal injury claims for decades. We want to make sure that our clients are heavily involved in the process while also understanding every step of the settlement. We want to keep our clients informed. Our consultation does not come with any obligations. We are located conveniently in every major city in California and Nevada to better suit your needs. Other than that, we are also available 24/7 via phone or email.
Our attorneys will be able to explain every step of the settlement process and explain the settlement release when it comes down to signing it. Usually, it takes a very legitimate reason to file a claim against the insurance company after a settlement agreement has been reached. But, in general, it is very rare to bring a lawsuit against another party after a settlement has been reached and a release has been signed. For more information regarding settlements, please visit our page here.
***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.