Can a Car Accident Claim Be Reopened in Philadelphia?
Navigating the car accident claim process is complex, and circumstances may arise where you need to revisit a closed claim. However, there are only a few situations when a claim can be reopened in Philadelphia.
Duress or Coercion
Duress or coercion involves the at-fault party’s insurance company exerting undue pressure or influence over you during the settlement process. If it can be demonstrated you were forced or coerced into accepting a settlement under circumstances that compromised your ability to make a free and informed decision, it may provide grounds for reopening a car accident claim.
Examples of duress or coercion could include threats, intimidation, or manipulation that significantly impacted the decision-making process. Proving duress can be challenging, as it often requires clear evidence of coercive behavior.
Fraud in the context of car accident claims refers to intentional deception or misrepresentation of facts during the settlement process. If it is discovered that the at-fault party or their insurer engaged in fraudulent activities, such as providing false information about the circumstances of the accident or have you sign a settlement agreement for $1,000 when the adjuster stated it would be for $100,000. In these cases, you may seek to reopen the claim.
Evidence of fraud can include witness statements, email communication, or other documentation that contradicts the information presented during the initial settlement.
Mutual mistakes occur when both parties involved in the settlement make a significant error concerning the facts or terms of the agreement. This could include misunderstanding the extent of injuries, miscalculating damages, or misinterpreting the legal implications of the settlement.
To reopen a car accident claim due to mutual mistakes, both parties must agree that the mistake was substantial and had a material impact on the settlement.
Can An Attorney Help When You Reopen A Car Accident Claim?
When it comes to reopening a car accident claim, having an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer by your side can be invaluable. Here are ways in which an attorney can help:
1. Legal Knowledge
Attorneys specializing in personal injury law possess a deep understanding of the legal framework surrounding car accident claims in Philadelphia. They can provide valuable insights into the viability of reopening your claim.
2. Gathering Evidence
If your lawyer determines there are legitimate grounds for reopening your car accident claim, they will begin to gather relevant evidence that supports your position. This may include obtaining medical records, conducting interviews with witnesses, obtaining copies of the at-fault party’s insurance policy, and collecting various documentation.
3. Crafting A Legal Strategy
Crafting a legal strategy is a crucial aspect of reopening a car accident claim. Attorneys can develop a comprehensive strategy tailored to your specific situation, considering the legal principles involved and the evidence available.
4. Negotiation Skills
In cases where reopening the claim involves negotiations with the at-fault party or their insurer, attorneys can employ their negotiation skills to achieve a favorable outcome.
5. Court Representation
If negotiations fail, your lawyer will represent you in court. They will navigate the legal system, file necessary court documents, and advocate on your behalf during hearings.
6. Peace of Mind
An attorney can give you peace of mind because they will act as an advocate for your rights, ensuring that you are treated fairly throughout the process and recover the compensation you deserve.