Any minor injury has the potential to become a serious problem if something unexpected occurs. Given the fact that car accidents often cause major, complex health issues, it’s no surprise that many victims find themselves with injuries that worsen long after the accident takes place.
Unfortunately, this means that initial compensation for a car accident injury may not be sufficient to cover payments for treatment if that injury worsens. If you’ve signed a settlement agreement only to see your car accident-related health issues worsen, you may have a difficult time getting the compensation you need.
With that being said, if you have a car accident injury that worsens after your settlement agreement was signed, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced Houston car accident attorney to go over potential options for increasing coverage.
Agreement Versus a Signature
The possibility of adjusting a settlement depends in part on what stage of the settlement process you are in. The settlement process, put simply, involves negotiation, an agreement, and a release of liability. Even if you have agreed to the terms of a settlement, you aren’t bound by those terms until you sign a release of liability.
If you’ve agreed to the terms of your settlement only to have your injuries worsen, you may be able to renegotiate the terms of that agreement. However, this can be challenging as the defense attorney or insurance adjuster is unlikely to change their mind based on what the victim of an accident says.
Instead, at this point, you will likely need to seek out a car accident attorney to help negotiate on your behalf.
Multiple At-Fault Parties
If you have signed and settled with one at-fault party, you may still be able to sue another liable party for damages. Car accidents often involve multiple at-fault parties, either due to multiple vehicles being involved, product liability issues such as a defective tire or brakes, or due to negligence on the part of road maintenance or infrastructure.
If multiple parties were at fault for your crash, you may be able to sue each party separately, opening the possibility for increased compensation for a worsening injury. Whether or not this option is available to you depends on the language included in your release of liability. Often, these binding agreements include the phrase, “In return for the settlement money, the plaintiff agrees to give up all potential claims that he/she might have against anyone for the injury in question.”
If your release of liability included similar language but you now hope to sue another party, you will likely need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.
Preventing a Lack of Coverage for Worsening Injuries
Getting more compensation for a worsening injury after you’ve already signed a settlement is incredibly tough. It’s also not possible in many cases. That is why it’s important that car accident victims are protected from settlement agreements that don’t meet all of their needs.
Here are a few tips on how to get the settlement agreement you need and deserve:
- See a Doctor — see a doctor as soon as possible following your accident to get an accurate view of the injuries you sustained.
- Follow Your Treatment — if your injury worsens while you failed to follow your doctor’s treatment instructions, you are unlikely to receive compensation for that increased cost.
- Don’t Sign Anything — following your accident, carefully review any documents and agreements, preferably with the help of a car accident attorney, before signing anything.
- Don’t Talk to Any Insurance Adjusters — before speaking to your insurance adjuster about getting compensation, consult an attorney to ensure that you don’t say something that will jeopardize your coverage.
- Get a Lawyer — if you’re seeking coverage for a car accident injury, an attorney can help you ensure that any settlement you agree to includes all of the compensation you need, including for injuries that worsen after the settlement is signed.
Protect Your Rights to Compensation with Lapeze & Johns, PLLC
Car accidents can be deeply stressful and confusing. Unfortunately, the process of seeking relief for your injuries could be just as hard, but you don’t have to go through that process alone.
If you’ve been injured in a Texas car accident, the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, would be honored to represent you. Our compassionate team will do everything we can to get you the coverage you need.
If you’ve been injured in a Texas car accident and are looking to receive compensation, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, today for help.