After settlement if new evidence is found showing the driver not charged in a car accident is at fault can the case be reopened?

Asked over 1 year ago - Fort Mill, SC

My 3 sons were seriously injured in a car accident when their grandmother was driving. She was killed. The police report determined she was at fault . The report said the tire tracks on the road showed she crossed a double line into an oncoming dump truck. There were no witnesses. The dump truck driver corroborated the police report. My insurance company and my mother in laws insurance company paid a settlement to our family for my children's injuries and to the dump truck driver for his injuries. I signed a claim settlement saying I would not further sue my mother in laws estate. However, I believe the dump truck driver was at fault. I also believe we have new evidence to prove this. If I can can get a confession from him is there a chance to sue his company's insurance company or him?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. C Steven Moskos

    Contributor Level 14

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Maybe. It may depend on what the release that you signed says. You should have gotten an attorney for the claim against your mother in law's estate. If you have not done so already, you will need one to deal with the truck driver.

    The information provided should not be considered legal advice. I am not licensed to practice in any State other... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends upon the language of the release you signed.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  3. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is very difficult to reopen a settled claim. Your best approach is to talk with an attorney in your area to see if there are factors which could allow a reopening.

  4. Howard Robert Roitman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In civil litigation, dismissal with prejudice can take a couple of different forms. Once a case has been brought to court and a judgment has been made, the matter is concluded, or dismissed. The term "with prejudice" indicates the court cannot be asked to rule on the same issues again.

    This is a similar legal doctrine to double jeopardy in a criminal case. In the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and some other jurisdictions, a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice. Once the individual has been found not guilty, the matter effectively forms a dismissal with prejudice.

    The other form that a dismissal with prejudice can take is when a civil case is dismissed by a judge on those terms. The judge effectively stops the plaintiff, who is the person claiming they suffered a loss or injury, from starting another lawsuit based on the same incident, or cause of action. The parties to the legal action may agree to a voluntary dismissal with prejudice if they settled the matter before it got in front of a judge.

    A dismissal without prejudice is a different matter. Like a dismissal with prejudice, the legal action is finished. When this type of dismissal occurs, the plaintiff in the matter can bring a lawsuit before the court based on the same cause of action later if he or she chooses to do so.

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more
  5. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Absent fraud, there is usually no way to reopen a settled case. Much may hinge on what this "new evidence" is and what the language is contained in the release you signed.

    Also, as insurance claims are more or less adversarial proceedings, much like court, it is incumbent upon each party to perform their due diligence in determining all the evidence prior to reaching any agreement.

    Hope this helps.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more
  6. David Craig Lee

    Contributor Level 15

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Hoffman. Unless you can prove fraud, there's just no possible way you're going to alter the settlement. But you should hire a lawyer to review the exact language.

    If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO... more

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