Signing a Release After a Car Accident
Car accidents happen, but they aren’t always our fault. If you’re involved in a car accident, and you know you are not to blame, speaking to eye-witnesses is key in building credibility for your case. However, this may bring the at-fault party’s car insurance company to try and make you settle quickly. If you do accept a settlement, you will have to sign a release form. This release form will waive your right to sue for further damages, releasing liability from the at-fault party and their insurance company.
It may be tempting to accept a settlement early on, due to loss of employment fees from lawyers, and medical bills adding up. However, this settlement is not accounting for future damages or all of the compensation you deserve.
Below are some tips to keep in mind before accepting a settlement and signing a release after a car accident:
Are All of Your Damages Covered?
Read through the settlement you are offered. After calculating all of the damages it may cover, ask yourself if it will cover:
- Possible lost wages
- Medical bills
- Emotional/psychological damage
- Vehicle repairs
Before accepting the settlement offer and signing a release, make sure to have a full understanding of your injuries. Have you sought medical attention since the accident? Are you waiting for results from the doctor? Consider being patient before accepting a settlement to avoid having to pay more than what the at-fault party’s insurance company is offering you in compensation.
Discuss the Settlement Offer with Your Own Insurance Company
Before accepting a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company, signing a release and therefore waiving your rights, you also waive your own insurance company’s rights. It is crucial to consult with a lawyer at this point to ensure you will not make the wrong decision! You may need the permission of your insurance company to accept a settlement and release your rights. Hypothetically, if you are involved in a car accident and the other driver’s car insurance policy limits aren’t enough to cover your damages, your underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) should be able to make up the difference. However, upon accepting a settlement and releasing both yours and your insurance company’s rights, you will not be able to receive any further compensation than what is offered. If you attempt to make a claim with your insurance company after signing the release, they may deny your claim.
Call 411 Pain
Having an expert attorney review the settlement offer and examine the case, as well as discussing your damages and injuries will benefit you substantially. Remember, if you’re involved in an accident, after calling 911, call 411. Call Path at 1-800-411-PAIN after a car accident. As always, we are available 24/7 to help you!