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All you need to know about reopening a Lawsuit After Settlement?

You took a lawsuit settlement, but maybe something has happened that made you wonder whether or not you can reopen a lawsuit against the other party after the fact. A personal injury attorney can be a great help to you here, answering any questions that you may have about your settlement terms. The goal of this article is to help you understand the basics of reopening a case after a lawsuit so that you have the information that you need on this topic. After understanding this topic, you can get a free consultation from an attorney to see what your rights are here.

Can you Reopen a Lawsuit?

You aren’t typically allowed to reopen a lawsuit after a settlement agreement has been reached. There are some exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, you cannot go back after a party after the settlement has been made and filed with the court. This might not be great news for you to hear, but this rule is in place in order to protect you and the defendant in the future. This protects the defendant from several lawsuits that stem from the same case. It also protects the plaintiffs from having their settlement contested by the defendant.

Despite the inability to reopen a lawsuit after the settlement, you do have other options. You may have other liable parties in your case, which means that you can file lawsuits against these other parties. If you need further compensation to cover your injuries, your best option could be to go with filing a claim with a third party. You should speak to an attorney to see if this is the best approach for you.

Circumstances Where a Lawsuit Can Be Reopened

While the general rule is that you cannot reopen a lawsuit after a settlement, there are some exceptions to this rule. There can be options for both in-court and out-of-court options for you here.

In Court

Generally personal injury cases are settled out of court, and in these cases, you won’t likely be allowed to reopen the case. But depending on the manner that the judge closes your case, you might be able to go through the process of reopening your case and suing them. If the judge has closed your case “without prejudice”, you can reopen the case since this means that the case isn’t dismissed forever. A case that is closed “with prejudice” means that you cannot reopen the case.

Outside of Court

There are some instances when the settlement is closed outside of court where you may be able to reopen the case, including:

  • You can reopen the case to sue the insurance company or another after the settlement only if you are confident that you can prove that the other party had bad faith going into your settlement agreement. If you were defrauded, you can reopen the case.
  • You can sue in cases of multiple parties having some liability in your accident. The exception to this is if you signed a form that can release any other party from their liability.
  • One can reopen the case and sue them if their lawyer made an error during the settlement. For instance, if the negotiated amount for the settlement was $100,000 and they wrote down $10,000 in the settlement, you can either have the case reopened or just have the mistake fixed.

Understanding Release Liability Contract

After you have reached an agreement in your settlement, you will have to sign a general release before the other party gives you a settlement check. Also known as a release of liability contract, this general release will prevent you from being able to reopen a case after it has been settled and closed. Even if new evidence comes up after the fact, you will still not be able to revisit the personal injury case. You will not be able to reopen a case with this contract in place and you often won’t be able to get your money from the insurance company without signing this release.

By signing this contract, you are relieving the defendant and the insurance company of any further compensation for this accident. You cannot seek out further compensation, even if something comes up and you discover that you need more money.

Settling Personal Injury Lawsuit

When you are going through the process of a settlement, you always want to be wary of any insurance company that wants to quickly settle the claim and get it over with. The insurer understands that once you agree to a settlement and take their money, they have no further obligation to you. They may try to get this case over with as soon as possible, taking advantage of someone who is in a desperate situation because of their accident. This is why it’s always a good idea for you to have an attorney on your side during a personal injury case.

The attorney can calculate a fair amount for your damages, and they can tell you whether or not an offer from the insurance company is a fair offer. You should never sign a settlement agreement without your lawyer looking over the agreement. This is because the insurance company wants to pay as little as possible for claims, so they will try to do some shady things to get you to sign a contract without a legal professional representing you.

Conclusion

The Injury Firm offers free consultations, offering advice with no obligations. Being able to help you understand what your rights are after a settlement is important, especially when something happens. For instance, what if you discover you need more treatment beyond what the settlement covers as a result of your injuries? An experienced team like the one that you would get at The Injury Firm means that you get peace of mind that your case is in the right hands. We always have our client’s best interests at heart. Contact us today to see how our team can help you.

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1608 East Commercial Blvd. 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334

Phone (954) 951-0000
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Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

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