Can I change my mind once I have settled with the insurance company?
Even after you have orally agreed to settle your auto accident claim with the insurance adjuster, you may still be able to change your mind and obtain a Baltimore car accident lawyer to help you with your accident case. Generally, until you sign a release of all claims and endorse and deposit or cash the settlement check, you have a right to change your mind and refuse the settlement. Clearly if your lawyer settled the case without going over the settlement offer with you, you would have an absolute right to reject the offer even if accepted by the Baltimore car accident lawyer unless you gave the lawyer express authority to settle the case for the amount offered.
There are limited circumstances where even if you have already accepted the offer, endorsed the check, and deposited the check or cashed the check where you can still set aside the settlement.
Situation one where you can set aside a settlement where you accepted the offer, endorsed the check, and deposited the check or cashed the check is when the release and check were signed within 30 days of the accident and you had no Baltimore car accident lawyer at the time of signing the release. You must exercise your rights to revoke the settlement in writing within 60 days of when you signed the settlement papers and return any money paid.
If you were confined in the hospital any time due to injuries sustained in an auto accident and the insurance company contacts anytime within those first 15 days after the accident and settles the case with you, the settlement is void and you can probably keep the money and still sue as if you never received any money or signed a release as it is a violation of the law for the insurance company to attempt to settle a case with you during this 15- day period. It is also a violation of the law for the insurance company to take a statement from you during that 15- day period.
Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-401.1
- 5-401.1. Release or settlement of claim by injured individual
(a) Voidability of release; notice. —
(1) A release of the claim of an injured individual for damages resulting from a tort, signed by the injured individual within 30 days of the infliction of the injuries without the assistance or guidance of an attorney at law, and any power of attorney to or contract of employment with an attorney at law, with reference to recovery of damages for the tort, signed by the individual within 30 days after the infliction of the injuries, shall be voidable at the option of the injured individual within 60 days after the day on which the individual signed the document.
(2) (i) Notice that a release is voided under this subsection by the injured individual shall be:
1. In writing; and
2. Accompanied by the return of any money paid to the injured individual as a result of the signing of the release.
(ii) The release is void from the date that the notice is mailed.
(b) Restrictions on settlement, release, or statements of injured individuals. — A person whose interest is or may become adverse to an injured individual who is confined to a hospital or sanitarium as a patient may not, within 15 days from the date of the occurrence causing the patient’s injury:
(1) Negotiate or attempt to negotiate a settlement with the patient;
(2) Obtain or attempt to obtain a general release of liability from the patient; or
(3) Obtain or attempt to obtain any statement, either written or oral from the patient, for use in negotiating a settlement or obtaining a release.
(c) Use of settlement agreement or release as evidence. — Any settlement agreement entered into or any general release of liability made by any individual who is confined in a hospital or sanitarium after the individual incurs a personal injury may not be used in evidence in any court action relating to the injury and may not be used for any purpose in any legal action in connection with the injury if the settlement agreement or release is obtained contrary to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
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