In Which Situations Can a Personal Injury Case Be Reopened?
If you’ve resolved a personal injury lawsuit, you might be wondering if the verdict is final. Maybe you want peace of mind knowing that everything is over. In other situations, someone might have second thoughts about the outcome of their personal injury case, or new evidence comes to light. Here’s what you need to know about working with your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to reopen your personal injury case.
Can I Reopen a Personal Injury Case?
Most of the time, a personal injury case decision is final and the case cannot be reopened. If you’ve reached an agreement regarding your personal injury suit, you should assume that the decisions are binding. However, there are rare situations where a personal injury suit can be reopened, such as when one side doesn’t abide by the terms or when there is a mutual mistake in the documentation. But generally speaking, personal injury settlements are final.
What If I Am Unhappy With The Outcome Of My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Unfortunately, personal injury lawsuits can’t be reopened because you’ve had second thoughts or regret the agreement. In those situations, the court will uphold the terms you settled upon. However, if there is an error in the documents, you may be able to work with your Las Vegas personal injury attorney and have the case reopened. Your attorney may also be able to take measures to enforce the agreement if the other party is noncompliant. It’s important to work carefully with your attorneys before signing a settlement to be sure you are happy with the compensation that you will be receiving.
Release Of Claims Documents
When you reach a settlement in a personal injury case, you’ll sign a settlement agreement and a release of claims document with your injury lawyer. By signing this form, you are giving up your right to file or otherwise pursue a lawsuit against the other party, in exchange for the financial compensation and terms you’ve agreed upon. The release of a claims document ends your case and prevents you from reopening the case in most circumstances.
How To Reopen a Personal Injury Settlement
If there are grounds for reopening your personal injury case, the exact steps will depend on what has already happened. In most cases, you’ll need to overcome the release of claims and settlement documents that you’ve signed. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney will need to make a motion to the court to set aside a judgment, motion for a new trial, or appeal a trial verdict. Which of these is the correct measure will depend on the stage of your case and what you intend to accomplish by reopening it.
According to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b) are, grounds for relief of judgment in a personal injury case include:
- Error: When there is a clerical error and the documents don’t accurately reflect the decision of the parties or jury
- New evidence: Evidence emerges that you couldn’t have reasonably discovered before the settlement
- Fraud: One side doesn’t act in good faith or attempts to cheat you out of the settlement
- Moot judgment: The decision is moot because it has been reversed
Your attorney can help you understand whether your personal injury case qualifies to be reopened.
Avoiding Settlement Regret
It’s rare that a personal injury case can be reopened based on new evidence, such as more extensive medical injuries than were realized during the settlement. Additionally, future injuries or damages are seldom grounds for a new judgment. In a personal injury case, the parties involved understand that medical injuries and future medical needs are speculative.
If you’ve been seriously injured, it can be difficult to impossible to determine how long it may take to recover. It may take a long time to become aware of the full extent of your injuries and how they will impact your daily life, career, and family. You will need to work carefully with your Las Vegas car accident lawyer to calculate the anticipated prognosis of your injuries, your future medical needs, and other anticipated needs or losses that may result. You’ll want to make sure you have clear information from your physicians about your medical conditions and understand the approximate cost of future damages if your injuries are ongoing.
Because legal cases can become complex, it’s important to make an informed decision about your chances of success at trial. In many cases, it’s better to try to settle out of court.
What Options Do I Have Regarding My Personal Injury Lawsuit In Las Vegas?
If you have questions about your current personal injury lawsuit or a past settlement, the legal team at Benson & Bingham can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience working through personal injury cases in Nevada and will work with you to determine all of your legal options. Schedule your free consultation by calling our office today.