The general rule is that once you agree to a settlement, you cannot pursue compensation from the same party you filed a claim against. This applies even if your injury gets worse than expected after agreeing to a settlement.
Our experienced attorneys discuss how an injury could worsen after agreeing to a settlement and why it is important to determine the full value of future medical treatment before you sign any offer. At Schmidt Kramer, we also talk about other potential options for pursuing more compensation.
If you have filed a claim, or are considering doing so, give our firm a call for answers to your questions. We may be able to assist you in pursuing full compensation for the damages you suffered. We have helped countless injury victims and know how to accurately value injury damages, particularly the cost of ongoing medical treatment.
Injuries That May Worsen After a Settlement
Usually, an injury reaches a point where it is fully healed or has healed as much as a doctor thinks is possible. There may not be much of a change once you reach that phase of your recovery. It is sometimes possible that, with further treatment, an injured victim may regain some additional strength or function or have less pain, but any major improvement at that stage is unlikely.
However, it is possible for an injury to get worse, even after doctors determine it has stabilized. One way this could happen, for example, is if you have a traumatic brain injury and do not keep up with your doctor’s recommended treatment.
Your injury could also worsen if you stop treatment altogether. Sometimes accident victims may do this if they hit a plateau in their recovery and feel like they are not getting any better.
There are other types of injuries that can worsen if the doctor does not provide proper treatment, such as a broken bone that worsens and causes chronic pain or other issues. Back injuries and soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash, could also be unpredictable in the way they heal.
There are many circumstances that can cause an injury to get worse. An experienced attorney will factor this possibility into your final settlement. It is important to make sure there is compensation to pay for any ongoing medical treatment you may need. If you are not able to obtain future medical care, an injury could continue to get worse, making it harder to get back to work and the activities you enjoy.
Are There Legal Options?
The short answer to this question is no. Settlements usually include clauses that shield the at-fault party from future liability for the injury. That means you cannot file another claim or lawsuit against the same party over the same injury.
That said, in a few rare exceptions, you may be able to reopen the original claim - or file a new one against the same party. For example, if you can prove the other party committed fraud or engaged in bad faith in working toward a settlement. However, this is not something you should count on. That is why it is critical to be sure a settlement provides the compensation you need if an injury worsens.
The only other way to pursue more compensation is to file a claim against a different party that holds some amount of financial liability for your injuries. For example, you may be able to file a claim against a product manufacturer. However, in that situation, the other party would only be liable for a certain percentage of your damages.
Evaluating Accident Damages
There are various ways to determine what a claim may be worth. For example, your Harrisburg-based personal injury attorney may bring in medical experts to review your injuries and help determine the type of additional care you may need. Economic experts may also be brought in to help determine the cost of these treatments.
There are steps you can take to help ensure your settlement covers all your medical bills. For example, continuing your medical treatment and following your doctor’s orders. Missing treatments or engaging in strenuous physical activity against your doctor’s orders could easily make your injuries worse.
Schmidt Kramer is Here to Help. Call Today to Learn More.
We strongly recommend that you meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your accident and injuries. The insurance company is not on your side and will look for any way to deny or devalue your claim. They are focused on their bottom line, which is why you need an attorney who will make your best interests their top priority.
At Schmidt Kramer, the initial meeting with us is free and carries no obligation. If we represent you, there are no other fees or costs to pay up front. We do not collect our fees until the end of the legal process and only if we first recover compensation for you.
Call today to see how we may be able to help you. Phone: (717) 888-8888.