Car accidents are nasty. They have the capability to cause devastating injuries that may ruin your life and put you under immense financial stress. The inability to go to work simply piles up the misery.
At times like this, it is essential to file an insurance claim to seek compensation from the at-fault party. The compensation you receive from it will be beneficial to getting on the road to recovery.
But things aren’t as simple as they sound. Without a lawyer, you’ll never know the actual value of your damages and losses.
And this is one part that insurance companies take advantage of. They’ll offer a paltry amount to close the claim as quickly as possible. Most victims accept the offer since they are under immense financial stress. And once they accept the offer, they lose the right to file another claim.
Reasons to Reopen a Car Accident
As said before, the insurance company’s offer is not an accurate representation of your damages and losses. The offer is made with the intention of making a profit.
But as time progresses, the ghosts from the car accident may catch up. Following are some conditions that a car accident victim may experience after recovery.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Unable to perform at work at pre-accident levels
- Severe pain in operated or injured areas
- A general lack of enthusiasm for the things you once used to enjoy
- Complications that are created due to surgery, injury, or medication
Hiring a car accident lawyer would’ve solved this issue, as they take all the damages and losses suffered into account when calculating compensation.
As hopeless as it sounds, there are specific scenarios where you can reopen a car accident claim. We’ve listed five of them below.
1. You didn’t sign the release of liability agreement
Once you accept the insurance company’s offer, you’ll be asked to sign a release of liability agreement. Signing this agreement means that you’ve been paid for all your damages and losses. It also ensures that the insurance company or the at-fault party is no longer liable. This signals the end of the case.
However, if you only accepted the offer verbally and are rethinking your options, you can go back on the acceptance.
2. You were the victim of a bad faith claim
Bad faith claims are those where the insurance company indulges in scummy tactics to make you accept the offer. Some tactics employed by insurance companies include
- Bullying or threatening
- Lying about certain elements of the claim
- Poor communication
- Unfair or improper investigation by the insurance adjuster
You can reopen a car accident claim if you believe you were the victim of a bad faith insurance claim. Get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer today to learn about your options.
3. You were never paid
Once you accept the insurance company’s offer or settle the case in court, you’re expected to get paid. But you may have a problem if you never received the compensation, even weeks after signing the release of liability agreement. It is recommended to reach out to the insurance company and find out what’s holding them back.
But if the insurance company refuses to answer or is giving dodgy replies, it’s time to lawyer up and reopen the case.
4. You found errors in the agreement
Legal issues involve a ton of paperwork, and car accident compensation is no exception. Insurance companies may use the same template for different cases, and technical errors may crop up as a result. These issues can be wrong values ($5,200 instead of $52,000) or misspelled names. There are also chances that facts related to the accident were incorrectly mentioned.
An erroneous agreement is a valid reason to reopen a car accident claim.
5. You think that more people are liable for your injuries
This is often seen in car accident claims without a lawyer. Victims assume that the driver who hit them is the at-fault party and proceed to pursue them. If you feel your compensation is insufficient for your losses and realize that more parties may be involved, you may reopen the case. A car accident lawyer will help in determining liability and obtaining fair compensation.
Car accident claims are difficult without a lawyer. Always hire one to ensure you get fair compensation for your losses. An experienced lawyer will help you calculate compensation and prove the impact of the car accident on your life.