Can I Sue After a Car Accident Settlement in North or South Carolina?

It happens far more often than it should.

People get hurt by a reckless driver and assume the at-fault insurance company will treat them fairly. Unfortunately, most insurance companies make more by paying victims less.

Let’s say you agreed to a settlement, but it wasn’t as fair as you thought – what are your options? Can you sue after a car accident settlement in North or South Carolina?

Generally, once you have settled with a party (or their insurance company), you can’t sue them. However, you may be able to sue if the settlement was agreed to fraudulently, in bad faith, or as the result of coercion. You also may be able to sue another party with whom you have not settled if you can prove they contributed to your injury in some way.

A settlement agreed to under false pretenses may not be valid. Rain drops blurring the view from a car windshield.

To get clarity on your case with no strings attached, contact us online or call 1-866-900-7078 today!

Gold line icon of a bill with a warning symbol.Filing a Lawsuit After a Fraudulent Settlement

If the insurance company or its agents lie to get you to agree to a settlement, the agreement may not be valid. Perhaps they tell you there’s a deadline imposed by law when there isn’t one. Though proving it may be difficult, if you were deliberately misled so you’d agree to settle your case, then you may have grounds to sue.

Gold line icon of an envelope containing only a small amount of money.Filing a Lawsuit After a Bad Faith Settlement

For example, someone is in a terrible car accident and suffers catastrophic, permanent injuries. The insurance company mails a check to their home address for $500, clearly an insufficient amount. The victim, in need of cash, deposits it, and the insurance company says the case is closed and the victim agreed to settle for $500. In this case, the victim likely has a strong argument for bad faith by the insurance company.

Gold line icon of a dollar bill on a fishing hook.Filing a Lawsuit After Settlement Coercion

In law, there’s being firm and there’s being coercive. If the insurer tells you that their offer is “take it or leave it” and puts a deadline on the decision, that’s probably fine if they don’t represent that deadline as anything but their arbitrary one. If, on the other hand, they say they’ll have you deported if you don’t sign the settlement, that agreement should be invalid because it was signed “under duress.”

Suing a Different Liable Party

If multiple parties may be responsible for your injuries and you only settled with one of them, you may have options for pursuing additional compensation.

For example, what if two drivers were speeding and weaving through traffic recklessly, causing an accident that injured you? If you settle your case or claim against one driver without releasing the other, you could potentially sue that second driver.

Another example is when a driver causes an accident that injured you, and you settle your case or claim against them. However, you believe a defect or fault in your vehicle also contributed. Filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer may be an option, as well.

How Much to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement

There’s no standard number or average amount because every injury and case are different. What you should expect is to be “made whole” by the at-fault driver. You should, to the greatest extent possible, be restored to the same bodily and financial condition you were in before the other party caused your injury.

There are a number of factors that may impact your potential car accident settlement, including:

  • Medical expenses, which can vary widely and amount to much more than you expect
  • Ongoing care costs for lingering or permanent injuries
  • Lost wages and time off you had to use from being unable to work
  • Pain and suffering that you may have endured due to your injuries
  • Loss of relationship benefits and family time due to your injuries
  • And more

Don’t rely on the insurance company to tell you what your case is worth. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation before you agree to anything.

Should I Accept the First Compensation Offer?

Since it can be difficult to sue after agreeing to a settlement, you want to make sure that you seek a full and fair settlement. Any first compensation offer from the insurance company after an injury is likely too low, and you should almost never accept it.

Sometimes, the offer is bad because it comes too soon – before the injured party has a chance to treat and recover. How can you know what those medical bills will cost if you haven’t even completed treatment yet? Remember, most insurance companies make more by paying you less.

The insurance companies do this every day and are looking out for themselves. You want someone in your corner who does this every day and is looking out for you. Your car accident attorney helps you determine what your case is really worth – and can significantly increase your odds of success.

Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney and Seek Fair Compensation

If you haven’t agreed to a settlement, do not do so until you get a free case evaluation from our team. There’s no obligation to hire us afterwards.

Our team has “other side” experience from working for insurance defense firms. We use that inside knowledge to fight for everything you may be owed.

Since 1997, we’ve recovered more than $1.8 billion in total compensation for more than 65,000 injured people, and that number keeps rising.1 It’s no wonder our clients rate us so highly.

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin received 4.8 stars out of more than 3,000 reviews.

It doesn’t cost you a dime upfront to hire us, either. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not collect an attorney’s fee unless we recover compensation for you. If we don’t recover for you, you owe us no attorney’s fee at all. Guaranteed.2

Call us at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online today and ask how much your case is really worth.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does pain and suffering mean in legal terms?

Pain and suffering are a form of “noneconomic” damages, meaning that there is no obvious monetary value you can assign to it. When you miss work, you can calculate the money you lost, and medical bills have a clear cost. Calculating your pain and suffering, in contrast, can be a lot more difficult.

How long after an accident can you sue in North Carolina?

The statute of limitations for a personal injury (like a car accident) lawsuit in North Carolina is generally three years from the date of your injury. However, there are exceptions to the rules, so contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances. The longer you wait, the more compensation you may be missing out on.

Does South Carolina have the same timeframe to sue after an accident as North Carolina?

The same three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits (like for car accidents) generally applies in South Carolina, but there may be different rules depending on the nature or cause of your injury or your circumstances. Contact an experienced attorney a soon as possible to try to ensure you don’t leave any money on the table.

About the Author

Kaitlyn Fudge practices personal injury, consumer protection, business litigation, class action, mass tort, product liability, and whistleblower claims law in both North Carolina and South Carolina for the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. She received 18 different recognitions in law school, including the Jessie and Elizabeth Leonard Valedictorian Award. Kaitlyn has experience working at the Wake County Attorney’s Office and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association.