If you have been in a car accident in Downey and are in the process of accepting compensation from the at-fault party, you may wonder if you can still sue after a settlement. Generally, you are not allowed to file another claim for the same accident if you have accepted a settlement offer.
However, there are rare cases where you may reopen a claim if you are unsatisfied with the offer.
Read on to learn how to deal with settlement disputes and when to accept an offer.
Why Am I Not Allowed to Sue After a Settlement?
You are not allowed to sue after an offer has been agreed upon because of a liability waiver. This form will guarantee the insurance policy that they are not responsible for any accident damages after paying for the compensation.
What Is a Liability Waiver?
Typically, the other party’s insurance provider will ask you to sign a written agreement to release them of further liability when accepting a settlement. This written agreement is called a liability waiver or liability release form.
The purpose of a liability release form is to establish that you are giving up your right to sue after accepting the settlement offer from the insurance company.
A liability waiver contains the following details:
- Your name (the party who files the claim),
- The other party’s name and insurance provider,
- The compensation amount agreed upon, and
- The date and time of the accident.
Once the document is signed, you are no longer permitted to sue the party involved if you notice further damage after accepting the offer.
When Can I Reopen a Claim for My Accident in Downey?
There are specific instances where you can reopen a car accident claim. These reasons may help you refile a car accident claim and maximize your payout if you are unsatisfied with its amount:
You are allowed to reopen your claim if you can prove that the insurance company acted in a fraudulent manner. In this case, you may insist on bad faith insurance. That is when an insurance company attempts to breach its contract by failing to pay a legitimate claim made by a policyholder or by refusing to look into the case quickly enough.
Remember that you may use this reason to refile a claim if the insurance provider is deemed to do the following:
- Refuses to pay for the compensation without any valid reason.
- Takes too long to pay the settlement offer.
- Presents falsified evidence to reduce the restitution.
- Misinterprets insurance policy coverage.
- Delays the payout process.
- Pressures you into a lowball settlement offer.
Multiple At-fault Parties
If you are involved in an accident in Downey involving multiple parties, you may file another car accident claim against the other parties liable for the crash.
In a multi-vehicle car accident, you may receive compensation from several parties responsible for the crash. However, you will need a personal injury lawyer to handle your cases at once and maximize your payout from the collision.
Failure to Pay the Agreed Settlement
As mentioned, failure to pay the agreed compensation may void the whole settlement. So, if the insurance company doesn’t cover the expenses according to the agreed-upon payment process and schedule, you may insist on reopening your case.
Refiling a car accident claim requires extensive legwork to prove that the other driver’s insurance provider acted in bad faith. This is why it is essential to have an accident lawyer who can examine the nature of your claim and determine the legal steps to maximize your damages.
Can I Refile a Car Accident Claim if I Lost?
You may appeal a car accident claim if the insurance provider denies your case. However, it is essential to note that there is a reason why the insurance company dismissed your case.
When countering an insurance claim denial, you will need to understand the reason and prove that you are entitled to receive compensation for the damages of the crash.
Typical reasons why the other party’s insurance provider denies your case are the following:
- The claim exceeded the other party’s policy limit.
- The other party didn’t pay for the insurance.
- You are seen as being partially at fault for the accident.
- You have had lapses in your medical treatment.
- You lack evidence to support your claim.
Having the best car accident lawyer by your side could have saved you from losing your case. An experienced accident attorney will have seen these weak spots and still find ways to win.
Nevertheless, should you find yourself needing to appeal your case, you can still consult your lawyer to counter the insurance provider’s arguments. If the insurance company still refuses to pay, your lawyer may take your case to trial.
Can I file Multiple Claims at the Same Time?
You may file multiple claims at the same time in several circumstances.
Let’s say you have an existing personal injury claim. During this time, you are involved in another accident caused by a different negligent driver. In this case, you may file another claim against the at-fault party for the second accident. However, you will also need to justify liability for both crashes. The insurance provider may smear your credibility as a driver if you have another existing accident case.
Another example of multiple claims being filed simultaneously is when you are involved in a multi-vehicle accident in Downey due to other drivers’ negligent acts. In such circumstances, you may file personal injury claims against different at-fault parties at the same time.
While there are cases where you can file multiple claims at once, you must remember that you generally can’t pursue a case for the same injury twice against the same at-fault party. If you plan to file another injury claim, let your accident lawyer know and determine if you are qualified.
When to Accept a Settlement Offer?
Receiving a fair settlement offer is the outcome all victims want. However, you must be careful when accepting compensation. There are instances where the insurance provider insists on a lowball settlement.
To help you receive a maximum payout, check out these tips to know when to accept a settlement offer:
Your doctor thoroughly examined your injuries and diagnosed all possible bodily injuries from the crash.
Your doctor needs to examine the severity of your injuries and provide appropriate present and future medical treatments. When this happens, you will likely cover all your health expenses related to the accident.
You have maximized all types of damages.
When calculating the compensation amount, you will need to cover all types of damages, including:
- medical costs,
- vehicle repair or replacement expenses,
- other property damage costs,
- future treatments and rehabilitation,
- medical equipment or aid if you have a disability,
- wrongful death, if there is any,
- funeral and burial expenses, if applicable,
- pain and suffering,
- emotional distress from the accident,
- loss of life enjoyment, and
- loss of love and companionship.
Your accident lawyer can help you investigate the facts of the accident and determine all types of damage to include in your settlement. They will also compute special damages, such as pain and suffering, if these are challenging to quantify.
Your accident attorney suggests taking the settlement.
You must consult a lawyer for any actions or decisions you make related to the car accident claim. This way, your lawyer can gauge if the compensation amount is fair enough to cover the damage expenses.
Your accident attorney has the knowledge and experience to handle accident claims. So, you must mention every little detail of the claim to them so you can receive the justice you deserve.
Aside from guiding you through the payout process, they can also do the following to help you win your case:
- Gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.
- Prove liability.
- Communicate with the insurance provider.
- Counter any arguments and claim denials.
- Compute the total damages.
- Protect your legal rights.
- Proceed to trial if necessary.
If you are searching for an injury lawyer who can deal with your claim, Jacoby & Meyers has experienced attorneys with expertise in car crash cases. We cater to victims of car accidents in Downey and other areas of California. Contact us at 800-992-2222 for a free consultation. We will assess your case and provide honest feedback and a legal opinion about your claim.