What happens to my existing personal injury claim if I get into another car accident?

After being injured in a car accident, a lawyer can help guide you through the process of putting forward a claim to compensate you for the injuries you sustained in that accident. But what happens if you get into another accident before you are able to settle the claim for your first accident? This blog will look at the options that you have if you find yourself in this common situation.

What should I do if I am in a second accident?

If you are in a second accident while you still have an existing claim open for a first accident, the steps taken immediately following the accident will be no different than your first accident. You can read about the steps to take in our FAQ here.

However, one additional step will be contacting your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss how this new accident can impact your existing claim. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer may recommend looking at proceeding with a “global settlement” for your claims.

What is a global settlement?

A global settlement involves settling more than one claim at the same time. Although you will need to file a separate lawsuit for each accident you are involved in, and potentially deal with different insurance companies for each accident, with a global settlement, each of these claims would be dealt with at the same time and settled together.

Should I settle my accident claims together or separately?

There are a couple of factors to be considered in determining whether to settle your car accident claims together as part of a global settlement, or separately as individual claims. Some of these factors include:

  • The time between the accidents
  • The status of your existing injuries from earlier accidents at the time of the later accidents
  • Whether any new injuries were sustained in the later accidents

A personal injury lawyer will be able to look at the facts of your specific case to determine the best course of action for settling your claims, to make sure that you are being fully compensated for all of your injuries.

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