Are You Ready To Sign An Accident Release?
If you've been hurt in an accident and it wasn't your fault, you already know that dealing with the insurance company is a challenge. Whether you are using your own insurance or that of the other driver who was at fault, there may come a time when you are asked to sign a release. Special care is needed in this situation, so read on to learn more.
What does a release mean?
While many accident victims think that they must sign a release or lose any chances of compensation, that is not exactly how it works. You must know what you are entitled to get before you agree to anything and many have no idea of what they are giving up by making this move. Depending on your accident, who was at fault, and how serious your injuries were, you can expect to get the following forms of money damages:
- All medical expenses, past, and future
- Lost wages from any time missed from work, including all paid time-off you used
- All transportation expenses, such as a rental car, a repair or a check to replace your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
The settlement and the release
The release is a document that releases the insurance company from any claims, past, and future. You are agreeing to drop any claims or cases filed against them for money damages. Your signature on that document is a legally enforceable surrender of your rights to take any further action against the insurer, regardless of what may arise in the future.
You may not readily notice the release since it comes bundled with money. The settlement is the amount of money that the insurance company is offering you to drop the case and sign the release. There is nothing wrong with settling your personal injury case, but you must seek legal advice before you accept a sum of money that might be woefully inadequate.
What might be wrong with signing a release
Accident victims that are weary of dealing with the insurance company are often bullied into accepting a settlement and that is understandable. You want to move on and some money is better than none. Unfortunately, signing a release and settling for less money could mean you end up having to pay the price out of your own pocket. For example, most releases specifically prohibit the insurance company from being liable for any future medical costs caused by the accident. What if you hit your head and the effects of the impact on your brain did not begin to show up for a few weeks after the wreck? Brain injuries can cause serious and permanent damage to your ability to enjoy your life and to earn a living.
Don't make the mistake of jumping at a too-low offer. Speak to a truck wreck attorney and find out how much your case is really worth.