Visitor Question

Can I still negotiate after making a verbal settlement agreement?

Submitted By: Eric (USA)

I was in an auto accident and the other party was determined to be at fault. I suffered a personal injury and have incurred over $3,200 medical expenses.

I agreed to a verbal settlement over the phone but am still experiencing some soft tissue pain in my neck and the agreement is an open medical agreement. I have yet to sign the release agreement and asked a lawyer his thoughts and he made it sound like I still have a case and that I should not agree to sign an open ended medical agreement.

Is this truly the case? Since I have yet to sign the release agreement, do I still have room for negotiation? After researching, I have found that I am entitled to more than I verbally agreed to in the settlement offer. Do I still have room to negotiate ?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Eric,

What you have here are two things: Buyer’s remorse and a good faith settlement; Remorse in that you have learned that you could have gotten more money and good faith in that your agreement (hence your “word”) confirms what you agreed to with the insurance adjuster.

While it will be almost impossible for the adjuster to prove what you agreed to, your word must count for something. A better approach may be to rescind your acceptance noting that you are still experiencing residual pain to see where this gets you.

It may be necessary to retain an attorney so that they, as a new party to the matter, can re-negotiate your settlement.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 12, 2010

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