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Can You Reopen a Personal Injury Case?

An injury can take a serious toll on a person’s financial, physical, and emotional well-being. Aside from monetary damages, a victim of negligence may suffer from lingering physical pain, loss in life quality, and mental anguish. A personal injury claim can help compensate for the tangible and intangible losses a person suffers in light of an accident. Some people, however, sick of negotiating with insurance companies themselves, may give up on pursuing a case. Can you reopen one with the help on an attorney and gain compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering?

Receiving a Settlement

The nature of reopening a case will largely depend on whether or not you accepted a settlement. If you and the defendant agreed upon an amount for your injuries, pain, and suffering, and you accepted it, the case is closed. You likely signed a form that released the defendant from further liability regarding the matter in exchange for the settlement. Most insurance companies will not issue a check until they see the release and assure that you will not come forward with any more claims arising from the accident or injury.

If you did not sign a release, you may have agreed in person not to pursue any further legal action in exchange for the settlement. In general, if you accepted any kind of settlement and money exchanged hands, you will not be able to reopen a personal injury claim. However, exceptions always exist and it is a good idea to schedule a free consultation with an attorney if you are unsure.

Claims against Multiple Parties

Even if you pursued and received a claim against one defendant, multiple parties may share liability for your injuries. If, for example, you were involved in a car accident involving multiple vehicles, you may have grounds for additional claims against the drivers of other vehicles. Alternatively, maybe your car crash arose from an unsafe road condition and grounds for a claim against the government exists. In either case, another party might be partially responsible for your injuries, financial damages, and emotional turmoil.

You may be able to bring additional claims against other parties, even if you settled a claim with one person responsible. Your ability to reopen a personal injury case in this sense will depend on the agreement you signed when you settled the claim with the first party. In some cases, a release of liability agreement involves claims against other parties arising from the same accident.

If you sustained injuries in an accident and your settlement amount did not accurately reflect the amount of financial hardship, physical pain, and emotional suffering you experienced, contact a personal injury law firm to determine your other legal options. Pursuing further compensation or reopening a personal injury case is not always an easy road, but it can be possible in some cases. The best way to determine if it is possible is to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney who can complete an in-depth review of your legal options.

When to Talk to an Attorney

Once an insurance company closes a case, for example, through as settlement – it is typically hard to reopen. As such, it is essential to make sure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering from the start. Victims of negligence often ask if they can reopen a case because the settlement amount they received did not adequately cover their medical bills, lost income, and other losses. In some cases, they may even require additional surgeries or medical procedures arising from an injury that their settlement did not cover.

Unfortunately, it is more common to be unable to reopen a personal injury case than it is to pursue further compensation. Although you may be able to pursue a claim against additional parties in some cases, once you accept a settlement from one party, you lose the right to pursue additional compensation from them.

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