Can You Claim Twice For The Same Accident?

Experiencing an accident can be traumatic and lead to unexpected expenses. When another party is at fault for your injuries or damages, you have the right to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, this process raises an important question – can you claim twice for the same accident?

The short answer is usually no. Most accident cases are settled with a single insurance claim or lawsuit, after which you cannot come back for additional compensation. However, there are some exceptions where victims can potentially file multiple claims related to the same accident under specific circumstances.

Why Accident Victims Typically Only Get One Claim

When you are injured or suffer property damage in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the at-fault party (or their insurer) becomes legally responsible for the resulting expenses. This gives you the right to seek compensation by filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Once your claim is resolved – whether through an insurance settlement or court award – the case is typically considered closed. The insurance company or defendant has fulfilled their legal obligation to compensate you for that particular accident. Re-opening the same claim for more money is usually prohibited, with few exceptions.

Here’s why accident cases are restricted to a single claim in most situations:

  • Settlement contracts prohibit further claims – Insurance settlements include a liability release removing the insurer from future claims related to that accident. Once signed, you cannot come back seeking additional payments.

  • Court judgments are binding – If your case goes to trial and a jury returns a damage award, that decision is legally binding. Absent appeal, the judgment cannot be re-opened or reconsidered.

  • Insurers resist re-opening resolved claims – Insurance companies will fight against re-opening a claim they already paid out. Doing so sets a precedent that could lead to numerous claimants seeking additional payments.

  • Strict statute of limitations – Every state sets legal deadlines to file accident injury claims – typically 2-6 years. Exceeding the statute of limitations will get your case dismissed.

For these reasons, it is uncommon for accident victims to obtain additional compensation beyond their initial insurance settlement or court award.

When You May Be Able to Claim Twice

While you typically get one shot at compensation for an accident, there are some limited scenarios where victims can potentially claim twice:

1. Fraud During the Initial Claim

If the at-fault party or their insurer committed fraud during the original claim process that resulted in reduced compensation for the victim, it may be possible to file a subsequent lawsuit or claim.

For example, if the insurer falsified evidence to minimize their liability and get you to accept a lowball settlement, you could potentially argue that settlement is invalid due to fraud and seek additional compensation. However, you would need to definitively prove intentional wrongdoing.

2. Bad Faith by the Insurance Company

In some cases, an insurer may use deception or unfair practices to push victims into accepting inadequate settlements that violate their policy terms. This constitutes bad faith.

If you can show the settlement was negotiated in bad faith rather than based on the actual policy coverage, you may be able to seek additional payments despite already settling. Proving bad faith requires concrete evidence of misconduct by the insurer, not just dissatisfaction with the settlement amount.

3. Additional At-Fault Parties Identified

It is possible for multiple parties to share liability for a single accident. If you already settled with one liable party, you can potentially file a separate claim against other responsible parties later identified.

For example, if you settled with the negligent driver who caused your crash, but later discover the vehicle’s defective brakes contributed, you could pursue the auto manufacturer for compensation in a separate lawsuit. Each at-fault party can be held accountable.

4. Different Types of Resulting Damages

Sometimes accident injuries don’t fully manifest until years later. If your initial claim only covered clearly documented injuries and expenses, while subsequent damages emerged over time, it may be possible to file an additional claim limited specifically to those new damages.

For example, you claimed for medical bills and lost wages immediately after the accident, but later faced permanent disabilities. You may be able to seek additional compensation for long-term care needs related to the disability.

Key Considerations if Filing Multiple Claims

While there are scenarios where accident victims can potentially claim twice, the reality is that succeeding with a second claim or lawsuit is extremely difficult. A few key factors to keep in mind:

  • Strict deadlines – You must file within the statute of limitations and be able to justify why you are only now seeking additional compensation related to the accident.

  • High burden of proof – You will need very strong evidence to validate reopening a resolved claim or filing against another party. Suspicion and speculation will not suffice in court.

  • Claims improperly filed can backfire – Attempting an unjustified second claim could result in financial penalties or the court forcing you to return compensation already received.

  • Insurers strongly resist – Expect significant pushback from insurers if trying to re-open a settled claim. They will devote extensive resources to defeating your case.

  • Hiring a qualified attorney is essential – Only a highly experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to successfully argue for exceptions to claim twice for the same accident. Going it alone is not advisable.

The bottom line is that while rare exceptions exist, you realistically get one shot to seek fair compensation after an accident. It is imperative to fully understand your losses, rights, and options before settling your injury claim.

How to Get Maximum Compensation with Your Initial Claim

Because opportunities to claim twice for the same accident are very limited, it is critical to get it right the first time and receive full adequate compensation. Here are some tips:

Carefully Document All Accident Injuries and Damages

Be sure to record all medical expenses, lost income, property damages, and other losses resulting from the accident while details are still fresh. Also document any physical, mental, or emotional effects on your life. Thorough documentation will justify full compensation.

Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

An accomplished personal injury lawyer understands how to accurately calculate both immediate and future accident damages. They can negotiate optimally with insurers and build a strong case if going to trial. Their expertise maximizes your initial claim value.

Wait Until Fully Healed Before Settling

Do not rush into settling your claim prematurely. It takes time for all accident effects to manifest. Settling too quickly for only immediate medical bills could preclude you from receiving compensation if long-term health impacts emerge later.

Negotiate Patiently for a Full and Fair Settlement

Work with your attorney to stand firm on negotiations with insurance companies. Be prepared to refuse offers that undervalue your losses and injuries. Patience often results in a larger eventual settlement.

Take Necessary Time for a Court Decision if No Settlement

If unable to reach an acceptable settlement, allow your attorney sufficient time to pursue a jury award that reflects the full scope of your damages. This avoids leaving compensation on the table.

By making smart choices and working with the right legal representation, you can maximize your recovery and get fully compensated with your initial claim. While rare, if subsequent damages do emerge later, an attorney may then be able to explore options like filing against other liable parties.

Why You Should Consult a Lawyer Before Settling Your Injury Claim

Because most accident victims only realistically get one shot at compensation, it’s critical to fully understand your losses and legal options prior to settling. This is why consulting an attorney early in the process can have huge financial implications.

An experienced lawyer will advise you on steps to take, evidence to collect, and strategies to maximize your claim’s value. They can accurately calculate both immediate and potential future accident damages and work to recover full fair compensation on your behalf either through settlement negotiations or litigation.

Settling without consulting qualified legal counsel often leads to underestimating damages, failing to identify all liable parties, and accepting premature, inadequate settlements. Don’t take chances with your one opportunity to be made whole after an accident. Protect your rights and maximize your claim with trusted legal expertise.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, accident victims get one chance to pursue compensation for their losses. Exceptions allowing multiple claims for the same accident are rare and difficult to successfully pursue.

Therefore, it is extremely important to do it right the first time by documenting all damages, consulting an attorney, waiting until fully recovered, and holding out for full fair compensation before settling. With the right legal help, you can get everything you deserve from your initial claim.

Lawyer Reveals Easy Car Accident Claim Process


Can I have two claims on the same accident?

You can file two separate claims for the same accident if two parties or entities are liable. Doing so enables you to maximize your compensation by holding each potentially at-fault party financially responsible for your injuries.

What is double dipping in insurance?

Insurance claim double dipping involves collecting benefits from two or more insurance companies for the same loss. In this scam, fraudsters make identical claims for the same incident at multiple insurance companies to increase their payout.

Can I double claim personal accident insurance?

Can you claim from multiple personal accident policies? It is perfectly legal to purchase and hold multiple personal accident policies. The policyholder can claim from all the individual accident policies for an accident if the damage falls under the section inclusion.

How many claims before car insurance cancels?

Cancellation. Every insurance company sets its own benchmark for triggering a cancellation, but it is more likely that you’ll face cancellation or non-renewal if you’ve made three or more claims within a three-year period. Most cancellations occur within the first 60 days of a policy, usually due to non-compliance.

Leave a Comment