A lawsuit cannot be reopened after settlement. The settlement agreement you sign in a personal injury claim includes a release of liability, which states you will not pursue additional damages in the case. Therefore, it is vital to get a fair settlement the first time.
You might want to consult with a personal injury law firm before signing a settlement agreement. Most provide complimentary case reviews and work on contingency. You can learn about your legal options and recoverable damages, and they can negotiate an appropriate settlement for you with no upfront costs. You only pay attorney’s fees if they win your case.
Understanding the Personal Injury Accident Claims Process
After an injury accident, the victim can hold the at-fault party liable via an insurance claim or lawsuit. Most personal injury cases settle without a trial. Instead, the victim negotiates an agreement with the insurer based on the responsible party’s policy. This settlement allows the victim to recover compensation for the financial, physical, and psychological harm they incurred.
These agreements pay out the negotiated amount in exchange for the victim signing away their right to pursue further damages in the case. Therefore, a claimant generally cannot reopen a claim or sue the liable party following a settlement.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Ensure You get a Fair Settlement
Because settlements are usually final, you must ensure you recover the money you need to pay your bills and cover your losses before you agree to sign. In addition, you might want to factor in the possibility of future complications from your injuries or the need for additional therapy when considering a settlement offer.
If an insurer offers what seems like a lot of money, there is no reason to rush. You can consult with a lawyer before you decide to sign or cash their check. They can review the offer and determine if any bills weren’t included and your future needs are met.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Factors That Determine the Value of Your Injury Claim
Understanding these factors will help you determine the potential value of your injury claim and calculate fair compensation for your injuries and losses:
- The nature and severity of your injuries—more severe injuries call for larger payouts
- The necessary medical treatment and care costs
- If you have lasting injuries, chronic pain, or disability
- How much time you missed at work
- If you can return to your previous job tasks or position
- Whether you can participate in your previous activities
- Your quality of life
- If you suffered any property damages
- The pain and suffering you endured
- If you played any role in causing your injuries
- The circumstances of the accident and your injuries
- Other details related to the liable party’s actions
- Any laws that limit recovery, such as caps on noneconomic damages
Documenting the Recoverable Damages in Your Case
The first step in calculating what a fair settlement will look like in your case involves gathering evidence and proving your related costs and financial losses. You can collect these items to bolster your claim:
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs or other evidence of your usual income
- Paperwork showing time missed at work
- Estimates for your car repairs or other property damage
- Receipts for related expenses
You may also need to take other steps to document future care costs and intangible losses. This could include working with experts or taking additional steps to understand better the possible effects of your injuries in the future.
An attorney can help with this process. They can also help you:
- Identify the liable party or parties
- Find proof of negligence
- Work with experts to support your claim
- Place a value on your case, including your noneconomic damages
- File your insurance claim and demanding fair compensation
- Negotiate with the insurer to reach a just outcome in your case
- Handle all related agreements and paperwork
You May Have to File a Lawsuit to Get the Compensation You Need
If the insurer does not offer a just settlement, your attorney could sue the liable party. However, there are deadlines—called statutes of limitations – that limit the period you can file a lawsuit throughout the Gulf South:
- Alabama: Code § 6-2-38, two years
- Arkansas: Code Ann. § 16-56-105, three years
- Louisiana: Civ. Code Art. 3492, one year
- Mississippi: Code Ann. § 15-1-49, three years
You could have less time depending on the facts of your case. An attorney can explain if these exceptions apply to your situation.
Morris Bart, LLC Represents Victims in Personal Injury Claims
Our team from the Morris Bart law firm offers complimentary case assessments for personal injury victims in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. We are a contingency fee firm that fights to protect the rights of our clients.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to get started with your free consultation.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.