Can You Rescind Your Settlement?

"I want to rescind my Dumfries accident settlement..."

We recently talked to a man who had settled his car accident case a few months ago. He had been seriously hurt in an accident in Prince William County, and the other party was clearly to blame. He was contacted early on by the other person's insurance company.

This gentleman had incurred about $110,000 in medical bills at Prince William Hospital, most all of which have been paid by his medical care insurance plan from his company. The man told me that he did not want to pay an attorney a fee because his case was "simple" and he thought he could save the trouble with a personal injury attorney. The insurance adjuster even said some things along these lines during discussions.

The insurance adjuster from GEICO asked him just how much his out of pocket medical expenses were and he told them that they were pretty low since his insurance company had paid the costs. The personal injury victim went on to the Web and thought that he found a "formula" for resolving his case by himself. Looking at his out-of-pocket expenses and his lost wages, he settled his case for approximately three times his medical bills.

Now he wanted to reverse his settlement deal. Since he did not use a personal injury attorney for his accident case, he was not aware that his employer's medical care insurance company might seek to be paid back the medical bills that it paid. Yes, there it was, right in his contract. Of course, the adjuster from the automobile insurance company did not mention this to him.  Nor did he have a duty to mention it. The GEICO adjuster did not misrepresent anything, but didn't volunteer anything either, to help his accident settlement. The victim had to repay his health insurance company nearly 80% of his recovery, wiping out the great bulk of his settlement.

Unfortunately, there was nothing that we could do for him. He'd signed an "full and final release" acknowledging that he had not relied on the insurance adjuster for any legal advice.

Consumers should not be afraid to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in their area. You wouldn't think of taking out your own appendix, would you? Most personal injury attorneys will consult with you without charge on an initial basis. And many lawyers have websites filled with useful information. Some have authored books to help consumers understand their rights in a car wreck.

An insurance adjuster is generally under no duty to give you legal advice. They typically are prohibited from misleading you, but this can be very hard to prove. In most cases, they are simply trying to close the claim and their duty is to the insurance company, not to you.

Whether or not you've been in an accident, or just have general questions, I strongly suggest you order a free chapter from my book below.

To learn more about personal injury claims in Dumfries, VA, you can download a Free copy of our Accident Book.

If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at You can also call (703)584-7277 to speak with an experienced legal representative.

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney