If a first settlement offer expired for children involved in car accident with no injuries and medical bills so far, are we barred from collecting if any injuries should now arise?
Question Details: My 2 children aged 9, 8 and 7 were involved in a fender bender car accident last month. They were not injured and not seen by any doctor so I have no medical bills. My wife gave a recorded statement to a claims adjuster to the effect that they were not injured. He has offered $100 for each child and went up to $300 and sent settlement paperwork to close their injury claims. We declined to sign in case they complain of pain still and the offer is low for us. The adjuster responded that he has reviewed the recorded statement in which we stated that the children were not injured in the accident. He claims that we cannot file any medical expenses now. We feel that we missed out on taking the children to the doctor and now if they have any expenses we will have to pay out of pocket. What is the best way to handle this legally?
A settlement from the other driver's insurer is voluntary: they settle when they believe it is more cost effective for them to settle rather than fight (e.g. if you look like you will sue and it would be an expensive case to contest and/or that they may lose). Them withdrawing a settlement offer does not mean you cannot seek compensation, but you would do so by suing the at-fault driver and proving in court 1) that was at fault (e.g. driving negligently or carelessly) in causing the accident and 2) that he caused certain provable injuries or costs to you. You can only sue for actual, provably injuries or costs, however, not for what might be discovered or occur in the fugure, so you cannot sue until and unless some injuries are found or there are medical costs.