Can I Still File a Lawsuit After Accepting a Settlement?
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another party, you may be able to recover compensation through a settlement with insurance carriers or through a personal injury lawsuit. These cases can become immensely complicated, and victims often need assistance from Ontario personal injury attorneys in order to ensure they are treated fairly. Most personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but some people wonder if they are able to file a lawsuit against an at-fault party after they have already accepted a settlement offer. Here, we want to discuss when you can and when you cannot file a lawsuit after a settlement.
When You Cannot File a Lawsuit After a Settlement
When a personal injury occurs, the insurance carrier of the at-fault party may end up paying a settlement to the injury victim. However, when they do offer a settlement, they are almost always going to require the victim to sign a waiver of liability or release form before they can receive the settlement.
A liability release form is a legally binding contract that the injury victim will have to comply with as a condition of them receiving the settlement. These documents typically state that you acknowledge acceptance of the settlement as full satisfaction for all claims and that you will not take any further legal action against the alleged negligent party.
Additionally, these waivers also assure the insurance company that you are not going to continue to pursue them for compensation for the same incident. This will include any legal claim you may have against the at-fault party regarding the incident in question.
However, this also means that an injury victim will not be able to file a lawsuit down the road if they discover that their injuries are worse than they thought. In most situations, injury victims will be bound to the terms of the settlement agreement and will not be able to file a lawsuit.
When Can You File a Lawsuit After a Settlement?
There are some circumstances in which an injury victim may be able to file a lawsuit after agreeing to a settlement. This could include:
Multiple parties involved. In cases when there are multiple defendants (alleged negligent parties) in an accident, it may be possible to file a lawsuit. Typically, a liability waiver will only be related to one party in the case, not all parties. You may have the right to file a lawsuit against anybody else responsible for the incident. Additionally, if you discover that there was another party responsible that was unknown at the time the settlement was made, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against that party.
Fraud. If the insurance carrier of the at-fault party entered into a settlement in bad faith or defrauded you and your attorney during negotiations, you may be able to file a lawsuit. However, these situations are rare and difficult to prove.
Speak to an Attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another party, you should work with an attorney throughout your entire case. An attorney will always advise you when it is in your best interests to sign a settlement and when it is in your best interests to move forward with the lawsuit in lieu of a settlement.