Short answer, no.
Longer answer, I got two calls in a 24 hour period from two injured workers who had settled their cases and now looking back realize that they made a bad deal.
The first was hoping to re-open his case because he learned that his lawyer was not very experienced and thinks that a much better attorney could have gotten a better result.
The second worker had settled a heart attack case for a couple of thousand dollars, but then learned about someone else who got over $250,000.00 and wanted to get a do over to get the same amount of money.
Neither has a shot. Insurance companies settle cases and pay money for that so they can close out ALL of your rights as relates to that case and put the matter behind them. There is no loophole to get another crack at things and if there was then insurance companies would never settle. The benefit to them of settling is that the case is done. The benefit to you is that you get some money.
Learning a day later or years later that things could have gone better is irrelevant. I know that’s not what most people want to hear, but that is the truth. Once you sign settlement contracts and they are approved, it’s game over.
One possible option is suing your attorney if they screw up a case. That said while I’m not an Illinois legal malpractice lawyer, attorneys who are have told me that if you agree to a settlement, you can’t sue because you discover it’s a bad deal. The nature of a settlement is that it’s a compromise so the fact that you might have been able to get more is usually countered by the fact that the lawyer can say they thought it was a good deal given the facts.
On the other hand, if you settle a case and discover that a lot of medical bills weren’t paid, you might have some options. On the settlement contracts (every case has to use the same form) there is a box to check as to whether or not medical bills have been paid. If the box is checked yes then when a bill comes up you can reasonably argue that the insurance company should pay for it.
If the box is checked no and bills pop up after the fact, it comes down to whether or not your attorney should have known about these bills. If for example you sent him a stack of unpaid medical bills and he assured you that they would get taken care of, if they aren’t part of the contact then you might have the ability to sue them.
The simple answer to never regretting a settlement is of course to take your case to trial. That carries a ton of risks and if your law firm isn’t good at their job or organized then you might end up with a bad result.
But if your concern is that you think you got a bad deal, it’s unfortunately too late for anyone to help you. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but like I said, we always tell you the truth even if it’s not what you are hoping to hear.
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