Can I reopen my car accident claim after it settled?
You recently settled your car accident claim. Initially, it felt great to bring your car accident claim to a close.
But now you have doubts. Does my settlement cover all my bills and expenses? Will I have enough money for my future medical expenses? Did I, in fact, reach a fully binding settlement with the insurance company?
If you are asking yourself these questions, it’s understandable you may want to reopen your car accident claim after it settled.
In this post, I will discuss whether you can reopen your car accident claim after it settled and cover some important points to consider.
At the outset, I must note that each claim is unique. Whether or not you can reopen your car accident claim after it settled depends on the specific facts of your claim. You need to call and discuss the specific facts of your claim with a car accident attorney.
First: Is There a Basis to Reopen Your Car Accident Claim After It Settled
Generally, Florida courts will enforce settlements if the parties agreed to all of the material terms. See State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. InterAmerican Car Rental, Inc., 781 So. 2d 500, 502 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001). This is because judges highly encourage settlements. Simply put, judges like settlements – they bring claims to a close, allow the parties to move on, and lighten the court’s case load.
However, there may be times you can you reopen a car accident claim after it settled.
For example, did the insurance company pay you a different amount of money than what was agreed? Are there no documents, such as a release, evidencing there was an agreed settlement? Did the insurance company fail to perform any of its obligations, such as providing additional documents or affidavits that it was supposed to?
If there is evidence showing you did not agree on all materials terms or the insurance company failed to perform on one or more of its obligations, then you might be able to reopen your car accident claim.
Importantly, though, I must caution that you do not need a signed settlement agreement to find that parties reached a settlement. In fact, I have had an evidentiary hearing on this exact issue. This is something you need to keep in mind.
Second: Are There Other Potential Parties That Are Responsible For Your Car Accident
This is an important point to consider in all car accident claims. There may be instances where more than one party is to blame for your injuries.
If you settled your car accident with a party, make sure that any settlement agreement releases that party and that party only. This preserves your right to file claims against other responsible parties.
So even though you may have settled your car accident claim with one party, you should be able to file a car accident claim against other responsible parties.
Third: Take Your Time When Considering Any Car Accident Settlement
When you have the benefit of time, take it. Don’t rush into settling your car accident claim when you don’t have to.
With car accident claims (or with any personal injury claim), it is generally not recommended to settle too early as you often don’t know the true extent of your health and injuries. For example, it my take many months to determine whether you will need surgery or other expensive medical treatment for your car accident injuries. If you settle too early, you may not be able to recover these damages and expenses as part of your settlement.
So when you can, take your time when considering any potential car accident settlement.
Call Barthelette Law, Your Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney
At Barthelette Law, we have many years of experience handling car accidents.
If you are wondering whether you can reopen your car accident claim after it settled, don’t hesitate to call us today. We are here to answer all of your questions. Call us at (561) 246-4137 or fill out the contact form on our website: https://barthelettelaw.com/contact-us/
We are Barthelette Law, your Boca Raton car accident attorney!
 The full case opinion can be found on Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5415426054051083604&q=+781+so+2d+500&hl=en&as_sdt=40006.