Can an auto accident case be dismissed without prejudice ?

Asked over 1 year ago - Memphis, TN

my wife was involved in an auto accident which was not her fault,our attorney is advising us to take a settlement that we feel is to low ,even so since we have been put into financial hardship by this so we wanted to take the settlement but dismiss the suit without prejudice so if she has complications later she could sue again.our attorney says this can't be done.is this true and if so what happens if she has complications later that points to this accident ? she is disabled and on medicare and we are afraid medicare might not pay her medical bills if they think it was caused by the wreck !!

Attorney answers (12)

  1. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No insurance company will settle a case without a stipulation of discontinuance.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  2. James Allen Frazier Jr.

    Contributor Level 10

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This can't be done. Your attorney is correct. Simply, you get one chance to settle your case. Once you sign a release, that ends the case against the defendant.

    It is rare that an insurance company will pay out a sum of money over time or pay for future medical expenses as you incur them. If you settle your case and there are future complications, you won't be able to recover for them if you have signed a release.

    You should speak with your attorney further about settlement versus trial.

    You should consult an attorney immediately. This information provided does not create an attorney/client... more
  3. Eric Hamilton Espey

    Contributor Level 5

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am sorry to hear about your situation. Your attorney is correct. An insurance company will not pay a settlement if you do not sign a release and dismiss your case with prejudice. That is that nature of the deal. The insurance company pays you the settlement funds, and in return, you dismiss your claims forever.

    If you do not understand why you have been advised to settle, you should discuss the specifics with your attorney. There are sometimes many factors involved in the decision to settle a case, and unfortunately they all don't involve calculating whether a proposed amount seems fair or reasonable. For example, there may be a limited amount of liability insurance coverage available for the claim. You should talk about the settlement with your attorney and develop a better understanding of why he/she has given you this particular advice.

    Best of luck.

    The specific outcome of any legal situation depends on the particular facts and controlling law of that situation.... more
  4. Stephen Alan Sauer

    Contributor Level 16

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The prior attorneys are correct; once you settle you will have to sign a release and dismiss any lawsuit you or your attorney has filed. If you have concerns about your settlement you should discuss them with your attorney. You should also discuss the possibility of complications with her doctor to see if your fears are valid or if you are worrying about something that is unlikely to occur. As a side note, if medicare has paid on her bills from this auto accident, you will be required by law to reimburse medicare any payments they made on your wife's behalf. This will have to be done prior to distributing the settlement money to you and your wife. Once Medicare gets paid, it's unlikely they will refuse to pay future medicals as there would not be a source remaining to collect from as you will have settled with the at fault driver.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this... more
  5. Paul Y. Lee

    Contributor Level 18

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As other attorneys have mentioned, you need to decide whether the proposed settlement is acceptable or not. Any release you sign likely will have provisions making it clear your wife is waiving all future claims, known or unknown, that arise out of the accident. This means you will not have the option of filing a suit later in the event your wife's injury turns out worse than you thought or there are unforeseen complications. Good luck.

    This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not... more
  6. Nathan Zale Dowlen

    Contributor Level 13

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you want the money, this is a one time deal.

    Please note that my answering this question, does not, in any way, mean I represent you for this, or any other... more
  7. Steven Mark Sweat

    Contributor Level 19

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Usually any case can be dismissed without prejudice to re-file BUT, it depends upon many factors. Consult an attorney in TN to know for sure.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for... more
  8. John Paul Thygerson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Settled means settled. Your wife will not receive any funds unless and until she signs a release which settles this claim, and any other claims which may arise out of the same incident, forever.

  9. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your lawyer is correct.

  10. Matthew E. Wright

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. If you choose to settle your claims, the other driver's insurance company will require you to sign a release that releases them from any furhter liability. That means you could never sue them again or ask them to reimburse you for medical costs.

    If you don't like your attorney's advice and you believe he or she is forcing you to accept less money than you deserve, get a new lawyer.

    Law is state-specific and laws may vary from state to state. You should consult an attorney in your state for... more
  11. Larry Van Roberts

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes; an auto accident case can be dismissed without prejudice. However, that means you do not settle the case but dismiss the case with the right to refile the case within one year after dismissal. I have never heard of an insurance company in Tennessee settling a case, allowing a plaintiff to dismiss a case without prejudice and then refile the caes. Once settled, the case is settled.

    This response is given solely as a general response to the question and does not create an attorney / client... more
  12. M. Todd Miller

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Consult with another attorney.

    M. Todd Miller
    Law Office of Todd Miller, LLC
    1305 Southwest Blvd., Ste. A
    Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
    Web: www.toddmillerlaw.com
    Phone: (573) 634-2838
    Fax: (573) 634-7642
    Email: info@toddmillerlaw.com

    "Personal attention - Professional Results"
    * This post and all others made on the internet are for informational purposes only. Nothing posted should be considered legal advice nor should any comments, answers, or other communications be suggested or assumed to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Accuracy of this information is sought but not guaranteed.
    ** the Law Office of Todd Miller, LLC is a general practice law firm.

    NOTE: The use of the Internet for communications with the firm or this attorney will not establish an attorney-... more

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