In the last few days, a couple of people have found our website by making Google searches asking what to do if they’re still hurt after their personal injury settlement.
The answer in Texas is that they are probably out of luck. We continually warn prospective clients and injured persons that one of the biggest mistakes they can make in pursuing their personal injury claim is settling too soon. You only get one shot at your case — once you settle a case and sign a release, the case is over, and you can’t recover any additional funds from the defendant even if it turns out you’re hurt worse than you thought. As a result, you generally shouldn’t settle your case until you know the outcome of your injuries. In other words, don’t settle until you know that you’re completely recovered or you’ve been told by your doctor that you have made as much progress as you’re going to make and that you have permanent injuries. (The one big exception to this rule is when there is not enough insurance to go cover all of your injuries —- then you usually might as well settle for the proceeds available.)
The one instance when the injured person might not be out of luck is when an insurance adjuster has used fraudulent or false statements to settle the case. It seems that many adjusters are now trying to settle cases within a few days of the incident, and in some of these cases, the adjusters are making false statements to induce the injured person into settling the case and signing the release. In that situation, the injured person may be able to have the release voided, allowing the injured person to pursue the full value of the claim.
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