If you neglected to contact an attorney after your injury and have been swindled into a settlement, there is still a very slight possibility that you may be able to have the settlement agreement set aside and obtain additional compensation. The factors that Ohio courts seem to consider when deciding whether to set aside a settlement agreement are as follows:
No evidence of actual negotiation. In situations where there is no indication that there was any sort of negotiation between the insurance company and the victim, but rather the insurance company “threw out a number” and the victim quickly accepted, there is a chance that the settlement may be set aside.
Payment only for medical bills incurred. If the victim was only awarded money for his or her medical bills and nothing else, that factor may weigh in favor of the settlement being set aside.
Neither the victim nor the insurance company were aware of the victim’s injuries. Even if there is some type of negotiation, if neither the victim nor the insurance company were on notice of the true extent of the victim’s injuries at the time of the settlement, that may provide an argument for the settlement agreement to be set aside on the basis of a “mutual mistake.”
The settlement amount is the exact same as the amount of property damage. If the victim was only awarded money for the amount of property damage to the vehicle and nothing else, that factor weighs in favor of the settlement being set aside. Such a payment would indicate that neither the insurance company nor the victim contemplated the potential for incurring medical bills as a result of the accident.
The release was signed a few days after the accident. If the release in question was signed very shortly (i.e. within the same week) as the accident, that factor weighs in favor of the settlement agreement being set aside. This scenario seems to indicate an over eager insurance company taking advantage of a victim by the promise of getting them cash fast.
There may also be other arguments that a victim can make based on the given situation. However, it is important to keep in mind that a victim who settles early will be facing a steep uphill battle if they have to fight to get the settlement agreement set aside. In fact, chances are that even if someone has one or more of the above factors working in their favor, the court will still defer to the black and white language of the settlement agreement, particularly if it indicates that the settlement is for “all injuries, whether known or unknown.” That is why it is so important to speak with an attorney immediately following any motor vehicle accident or other personal injury claim.
If you have been injured in an accident, you can trust the attorneys at The Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC to treat you with the care you deserve and work hard to maximize your recovery. Contact our personal injury lawyers today at 419-241-1395 or toll free at 800-637-8170