Can I Reopen My Settled Personal Injury Case?

Feb 19, 2021 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers


Wanting to reopen a personal injury case usually comes when the injured person needs additional medical treatment. Sadly, here is the answer I generally must give – once you sign a settlement with an insurance company, that is it forever.

Now there are some rare cases where you can go back, but they are very, very rare.

I get this question most often from people who did not initially use a lawyer. The reason – a good lawyer is going to anticipate your future medical needs and see that you receive the money to cover them. Not using a lawyer most often comes down to people thinking that they can save money by handling a case themselves. This has proven to be false again and again. I guess this could be true here and there, but many studies have found that, even after attorney’s fees are paid, a client generally puts more money in his or her pocket by using a lawyer.

The main reason for this is — lawyers know the tricks of this trade. This is what we do.

One way I have found to “reopen” a case is to sue someone else. You would be surprised how often an injury case involves many different groups who are responsible for the accident. The easy way to understand this is to think of a medical malpractice problem. The groups involved could be the surgeon, the anesthetist, the nurse, the hospital, the manufacturer … you get the idea. So often, people who handle their own cases only think of one group. If you accepted a settlement from one, it doesn’t mean you cannot sue the others.

Here is the bottom line – hire a good attorney in the first place and don’t get yourself in a position where you need to go back for more money.

If you suffer a personal injury like an auto accident or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are mostly working remotely but are always available.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we have come up with.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer