Can a Lawsuit Reopen After Settlement in Chula Vista, CA?

Typically (but not always), you cannot reopen a personal injury lawsuit after settlement in Chula Vista, CA. Unfortunately, it does not matter if you discover you need additional medical treatment, including surgeries or physical therapy. It also means you could not reopen a lawsuit even if you develop a disability or impairment directly related to your injury.

As a result, it’s critical that you are careful before accepting a settlement offer for a personal injury or accident. Rushing to settlement can mean receiving an amount far less than the value of your economic and non-economic damages.

What Prevents You From Reopening a Personal Injury Lawsuit After Settlement in Chula Vista, California?

When you settle a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the insurance company and at-fault party will almost certainly insist you sign a settlement agreement. This document outlines the terms of the agreement between the parties.

As part of the agreement, the insurance company or at-fault party agrees to pay you a specific amount for your claim without accepting liability for your injuries or damages. You agree to waive all rights to further legal proceedings. In other words, you agree to give up your right to sue or pursue any claim related to the accident, injury, or damages.

The settlement agreement is a legal contract between you and the other party. The court can enforce the terms of the contract, meaning the other party could prevent you from reopening the lawsuit.

Therefore, suppose your doctor informs you that you need surgery a few months after you settle the lawsuit. You would be responsible for paying all costs related to the surgery because you released the other parties from further liability for the claim. If your condition worsens and you cannot work, you cannot reopen the lawsuit to seek reimbursement for lost wages or other damages.

When Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim in Chula Vista, CA?

Before settling a personal injury claim, you may need to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Your doctor will inform you when you reach MMI. It is the point in your recovery where further medical treatment is not expected to improve your condition.

When you reach MMI, you can negotiate a personal injury settlement for your economic damages and non-economic damages. These damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental trauma and emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Rehabilitative therapies

Generally, a person reaches MMI after fully recovering from their injuries. However, you can reach MMI and not be fully recovered. Some accident injuries can result in permanent impairment.

If your injuries result in a permanent impairment or disability, you can receive future damages. You can receive compensation for your impairment or disability and also receive compensation for:

The value of future damages can be difficult to calculate. An attorney may work with several experts to calculate future wages, including medical specialists, vocational experts, financial professionals, and economists.

If you settle a personal injury lawsuit before you reach maximum medical improvement, you might not receive the money you deserve for your injuries and suffering. However, you also must be aware of the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits.

The California statute of limitations for many personal injury claims is two years from the injury date. However, that time could be shorter or longer depending on the type of claim and other factors. 

If you do not file a lawsuit before time runs out, you lose the right to pursue a claim. It’s best to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident or injury.

Insurance Companies Push Settlement To Avoid Additional Liability for Personal Injury Claims

An insurance adjuster might offer a quick settlement for your personal injury claim. If so, beware. Your damages could be worth substantially more than the settlement offer. If you have not consulted a Chula Vista personal injury lawyer, the insurance company might take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge to undervalue your damages.

Lawyers offer free consultations, so discussing your case with an attorney won’t cost you anything.

Contact the Chula Vista Personal Injury Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in San Diego or Chula Vista, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

We proudly serve San Diego County and throughout California.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 777-5555

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers – Chula Vista Office
690 Otay Lakes Rd #130, Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 722-3032

We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers – El Paso Office
201 E Main Suite 106, El Paso, Texas 79901
(915) 591-1000