What if Your Injury Gets Worse After You Receive a Settlement?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Nov 25, 2020 in Auto Accidents
Sometimes injuries are unpredictable. You may not respond as well to treatment as doctors anticipate. Even if you do, your condition could get worse. For example, you could suffer an infection that requires more expensive treatment.
It can be difficult to factor these things into a personal injury settlement, which is why it may be possible for the damages from your injury to be worth more than the settlement offer you accepted. This raises questions about what to do.
Unfortunately, you might not have many options for pursuing more compensation. Once you sign a settlement offer, the at-fault party is usually released from any further liability for the injury that was in question. That means you cannot file another claim against the same party over the same injury.
However, it might be possible to file a claim against another party that held some amount of liability for your injury. This type of situation can quickly become complicated, which is why you should strongly consider talking to a licensed attorney.
In fact, it is very important to work with an attorney when pursuing a settlement to try to make sure it covers future medical treatment and damages you may suffer after signing a settlement offer. Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix personal injury lawyers offer a free legal consultation to discuss your legal options.
Have You Signed the Settlement Offer?
Unless you have already signed a settlement offer that contained a release of liability, you are not yet bound by the terms of the settlement. For example, maybe you have yet to sign a settlement but have agreed to the terms. If your injury worsens or doctors say your diagnosis is more severe than they originally thought, your lawyer may still be able to negotiate for more compensation. You are under no obligation to accept the initial settlement offer and this offer is often just the start of negotiating.
Most settlement offers contain a release from liability that bars you from seeking compensation from the same party for the same injury. If the agreement did not include this clause, there would be no motivation for the at-fault party to settle.
Determining the Full Value of a Claim
Generally, once you sign the settlement, you have few options for recovering additional compensation. That is why it is critical to work with an attorney to determine the full value of your damages, including the cost of ongoing medical treatment or management of your injury. Your lawyer may be able to factor in the possible worsening of your injury and the effect this may have on your quality of life.
It is important to be as forthcoming as possible about how your injury affects you physically and emotionally. Talk to your doctor about it as well as your lawyer. They may recommend seeking treatment from a mental health professional or keeping a journal to describe the effects of your injuries.
Phillips Law Group is committed to recovering maximum compensation for your damages. We can bring in expert witnesses to help establish the value of your claim.
It is important to note the insurance company would prefer you only work with them. They know you may not have the resources or time to determine the full value of your claim and may be more likely to accept a settlement offer quickly. Quick settlement offers are usually for much less than a claim may be worth, particularly when you factor in the cost of future damages.
What if Another Party was at Fault?
It is possible multiple parties were at fault for your injury. If this is the case, you may be able to file a claim against another party that was not included in the settlement offer you signed.
Phillips Law Group’s attorneys are experienced at identifying all at-fault parties. We want them to be held accountable to help prevent others from getting injured the way you were.
There are sometimes multiple parties at fault for a car accident, such as other drivers, product manufacturers or even government entities responsible for maintaining roads. Under Arizona law, each defendant in a claim can be held liable for their percentage of fault. That means a court could enter separate judgment against each defendant in the case.
Learn More About How We Can Help. Call Today
Insurance companies and attorneys for at-fault parties are committed to paying out the least possible amount of compensation for an injury. That is why it is important to have qualified, experienced legal representation.
At Phillips Law Group, we have obtained millions on behalf of our clients and are committed to your best interests at every stage of the legal process. We are not paid unless you receive compensation.
Have questions? Call today for assistance. Phone: 1-800-706-3000