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Post-Settlement: What Are Your Options?

Post-Settlement: What Are Your Options?Do You Have Options?

 

One of the most important things to consider before settling an insurance claim is whether the amount compensates you for all your present and future damages. Because once you settle a claim and cash the check, your options are limited.

 

What Does It Mean to Settle?

 

When you agree to a settlement amount, you will be asked to sign a form that releases the defendant and the insurance company of further liability. Legally speaking, someone without liability does not owe you a dime. So if you have medical expenses come up after you settle, you most likely won’t be able to ask the insurance company for more money. If you have any hesitations about signing the settlement agreement, talk to an attorney before you do so. The settlement is not legally binding unless you sign it, so don’t rush into it.

 

An Exception

 

Once you settle, you won’t be able to ask for more money from the defendant or insurance company. The settlement agreement—once signed—is a legally binding contract. You can’t negotiate the terms of the settlement after signing either. The only exception is if you find a mistake or a legal error in the agreement. But you can’t ask for more money just to cover unexpected expenses.

 

Compensation from Multiple Parties

 

You might be able to seek more compensation if there is more than one liable party. If you settle with one party, you might be able to seek compensation from the other(s) provided that your settlement agreement does not release all parties from liability. Some car accidents involve more than one liable party. For example, damaged or poorly maintained roads are common contributors to accidents. Because these are in many cases the responsibility of the city or state, you might be able to hold one of these parties liable. Construction site accidents can also involve multiple liable parties as there are typically several contractors working on the same site.

 

Take Your Time

 

Don’t rush into settling your claim until you know the extent of your injuries and how long they will take to heal. Also, always have an Illinois personal injury claim attorney review your settlement offer before signing it. It’s crucial you thoroughly understand the terms of the settlement offer. It’s also very important to make sure the amount reflects your total present and future damages. An attorney can help you do both.

 

If you want to settle your insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

 

Knowing When to Settle and When to File Suit

Knowing When to Settle and When to File SuitFiling an insurance claim is like playing a game. And, when out on the field, it helps to know the playbook. Knowing when to settle your claim and when you should file suit is one of the most important strategies you can master. But choose your strategy wisely to ensure you receive fair compensation as soon as possible with as little expense as possible.

When to Settle

The majority of insurance claims are settled out of court. Typically, the parties involved—the plaintiff and the insurance company—can come to a settlement agreement. Reaching an agreement saves both the time and cost of litigation. Cases most likely to settle successfully are those where liability is clear, and the damages are undisputed. Likewise, low-value claims and those involving minor injuries are rarely worth the hassle of a trial.

When to File a Law Suit

You can face many barriers to settling an insurance claim. Sometimes it is necessary to file suit if you’ve tried to settle, but the insurance company will not offer fair compensation. Consider filing suit if the insurance company is denying liability, disputing your losses, or is firm on a lowball settlement offer. You can still attempt to settle after you commence litigation and before trial. Keep in mind you may or may not have the same bargaining power at that point.

A Note of Caution

The only good time to settle or file suit is after you’ve treated your injuries to the fullest extent. Once you receive compensation, you are responsible for all future medical bills, so make sure you have a good idea of your future expenses before you even think about resolving your case.

Playing the Game

Filing suit can be costly and involves the court. It can also significantly prolong your case. You should never file suit unless you cannot settle for fair compensation. Don’t let the insurance adjuster pressure you into signing a settlement agreement. If you don’t know whether you should file suit or try to settle in your case, speak with an attorney. Working with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can ensure you receive fair compensation, no matter the route you have to take.

 

If you’ve recently been injured and need help with your insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

 

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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