If you've been in a car accident, you may have a pile of bills including medical costs, car repairs, and normal expenses you can't pay while you're out of work. That means you may want to take a settlement quickly, but can you get more money later? That can be a difficult task.
What Does a Car Accident Settlement Mean?
A car accident settlement is where the other party agrees to pay you for your car accident claim. Most finalized settlements say that you're agreeing that your claim is paid in full. That would mean you can't get more money later since you got paid in full.
With any settlement, it's important to read the terms of exactly what you're agreeing to since it could vary. That's why it's always important to talk to a car accident lawyer before you make any decisions.
Are Lawsuit and Insurance Claims Different?
A lawsuit and an insurance claim are two different processes. In certain situations, you can file both a lawsuit and an insurance claim. For example, the insurance limits may not cover the full value of the claim or insurance may not cover certain losses. You could then file a lawsuit for the difference.
When you're talking about a settlement, it's possible that it covers both options. For example, insurance companies may make an offer to pay the maximum insurance limits if you agree not to sue their client for more money. Even though you'd normally have the right to a lawsuit, you'd be waiving that right as part of your settlement agreement. If you tried to go against your word and file the lawsuit anyway, the judge would dismiss it based on that legally-binding agreement you made.
What if Your Settlement Doesn't Cover Everything?
Taking a settlement involves risk. You're taking a certain payment earlier in exchange for the uncertainty of if you'd get more, less, or even nothing if you went to trial. You're also taking on the risk of having possible additional expenses. However, there are some circumstances where you could make a new claim even after a settlement. For example, if your settlement only covered property damage or a certain injury and you later found you were hurt worse than you originally thought, you may be able to sue for the additional injury.
To learn more about whether you can recover more after a car accident settlement, contact a local auto accident attorney today. An auto accident attorney can provide additional information.