Can I File a Lawsuit After a Claim is Settled?
With most personal injury claims reaching a settlement instead of going to trial, you may be wondering if, by accepting a settlement, you no longer have the right to file a lawsuit. The answer to this may be yes or no, depending upon your circumstances. For this reason, it’s essential to understand the terms of the settlement before you sign.
Situations Where No Lawsuit Can Be Filed
Once a settlement offer is negotiated, you are required to sign a binding agreement. These agreements typically include a release form or liability waiver, confirming you will not seek further legal action.
Most settlement agreements contain statements that the payment is in full satisfaction of claims, inferring that you will no longer pursue claims against the other party or the insurance company, regardless of any delayed medical conditions. Even if you find out later that your case could have brought more money, you have no recourse to go after the same party again.
Taking time to understand any settlement agreement is imperative. A Michigan accident attorney can help ensure you know what you’re signing, avoiding any surprises down the road.
Situations Where You Can File a Lawsuit After a Settlement
There are few exceptions when it comes to your right to file a lawsuit after settling.
If the at-fault party acted in a coercive or fraudulent manner, entering into the settlement in bad faith, you can file a lawsuit. It can be difficult to prove such an accusation, and an experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the process.
If an accident involves multiple parties, there may be more than one party who contributed in some way to the accident.
Look closely at your settlement agreement and the liability waiver. If these state you are releasing only one party, you may file a lawsuit against any other party involved.
In addition, if you later find out someone else shared in the fault after signing a settlement agreement, you may be able to sue. This party must be unknown at the settlement time and be a person or manufacturer of a defective part.
Seeking additional compensation from this unknown party is permissible, as long as it is within Michigan’s statute of limitations for filing such lawsuits. Michigan law allows for three years from the date of the injury in most cases.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
Before agreeing to a settlement, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., for a thorough review. We are here to protect our clients’ rights and make sure you receive the full compensation deserved.
If you have already accepted a settlement, we will review your case for any fraud or unknown party involvement to determine if filing a lawsuit is an option. Get expert legal assistance today by giving us a call at (866) 642-4529 to schedule a free consultation.