A personal injury settlement not only provides compensation for the injured victim. A settlement also releases the at-fault party’s insurance company from future financial liability. That means the victim cannot file another claim with the insurance company over the same injury. There would be no reason for the insurance company to settle if the victim could continue filing claims.
It is important for victims to keep this in mind when seeking compensation. You need to make sure the settlement provides sufficient compensation, because once you sign the agreement, you probably will not be able to seek more compensation. It does not matter if your injuries get worse.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Lake Charles discuss the reasons why an injury may get worse after a settlement and the limited options for seeking more compensation.
If you were injured by another’s negligence, you should not count on the insurance company to take care of you. Injured victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.
Why Would an Injury Get Worse?
Sometimes victims develop an infection after getting surgery and this could lead to various complications. These complications may require more surgery and other medical treatment, which can be significantly expensive.
Injuries could also worsen if the victim fails to keep up with treatment. For example, a brain injury or joint injury could worsen without continued treatment. There may be a variety of physical restrictions a doctor places on the victim, and the victim may have trouble sticking to them. The victim could push a little too hard to do something and make a back injury or soft-tissue injury worse.
It is also important to note that people respond to treatment differently. Some people respond well, and others do not. Some heal quickly, while others may take much longer to heal.
Attorneys typically settle claims when the victim reaches maximum medical improvement. That does not necessarily mean the victim has fully healed, it just means the injury is unlikely to improve much further.
Importance of Obtaining Full Compensation
It is very unlikely an injury victim would be able to seek more compensation after agreeing to a settlement. Victims need to make sure a settlement provides compensation for more than their past or current medical costs. It is also important to consider future medical expenses and any other damages that may affect the victim long after a settlement offer is signed.
Without getting the full compensation you need, you may be left paying out of pocket for medical expenses. If you cannot afford to pay for treatment, you will either need to forgo treatment or go into debt to pay your medical bills. Forgoing medical treatment could lead to a lower quality of life, as you struggle with pain and other symptoms. Taking on debt could hurt your credit score and cause other financial problems.
Injury victims should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss their claim. The insurance company will not be committed to providing full compensation, but an experienced attorney will be. Trying to manage the legal process on your own could have a disappointing outcome. Research has shown injury victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation.
While hiring an experienced attorney is an important step, there are other things you can do to help your attorney determine the full value of your claim. For example, you should keep your doctors informed about the progress of your treatment. If new symptoms develop, tell the appropriate doctor so it will be noted in your medical records.
Make sure to inform your attorney of all the ways your injuries have affected your life. That way he or she can get a more complete picture of your situation as he or she works to determine the value of your case.
Legal Options for Seeking More Compensation
It is unlikely an injury victim would be able to seek more compensation after signing a settlement. That said, there may be limited options, depending on the facts of your case.
For example, if multiple parties are at fault, you may be able to file claims against those other parties for their portion of damages. If you were injured in a multi-car crash, you may be able to file a claim against another driver. Sometimes product manufacturers may also bear some fault for an injury.
While rare, it is sometimes possible to reopen an insurance claim if you can prove the other party acted in bad faith or committed fraud. That said, it is difficult to prove fraud or bad faith.
For the most part, once a settlement is signed, victims can no longer seek more compensation for their injuries.
Need Help After an Accident? Call Galloway Jefcoat Today
Our firm has been helping injury victims pursue compensation for more than 25 years, and we have a proven record of success. We are committed to pursuing maximum compensation to help you move forward after an unexpected accident.
There is no risk with our services because there is no upfront financial commitment. The initial consultation is free, and there are no upfront fees before we take a case.
Give us a call today to learn how we may be able to help. (337) 984-8020