A release is a document or an agreement you sign not to sue a party liable for damages or injuries. If you have been involved in an accident and you are free of fault, the insurance company may attempt to settle the damages and ask that you sign a release form. When you sign the release form, you waive the right to sue and present any additional claims caused by the accident. This exonerates the party at fault from any further liability.
Should I sign a release form?
It is ill advised to sign a release form immediately after an accident. It is best to wait until all the costs and damages have been assessed. If you are involved in an accident, and the insurer is pressuring you to sign a release form, it is wise to consult with San Diego personal injury attorney. You may find out that there are hidden damages that you did not pay attention to. There is also the possibility that the estimates provided by the insurance company are not accurate. You cannot also rule out the likelihood that you may have sustained injuries that could get worse. You need to get a full evaluation from your doctor. Ask the physician if there is a chance of late appearing injuries as a result of the accident.
A release of liability means that you cannot go back to the insurer and ask for more money if you discover more damages or injuries. It is best to wait until you have fully recovered. You also need to get a second opinion on the damages to your car. The insurer will most likely have paid for the minimum damages. The San Diego personal injury attorney will advise you to take your time. He will also get the correct estimate of the damage to your car and any injuries you have suffered. Once the attorney has fully evaluated the merits of your case, he will ask for a meeting with the adjuster to discuss the demands. Signing a release from prematurely can hurt your case and rob you of the chance to receive full compensation for your injuries.
Considerations to make before signing a release form
When you are involved in an accident, you will have immediate bills that need to be offset. This is one of the reasons why people settle early and sign a release form. It may appear as if the insurance company cares by offering you a quick settlement. However, you need to ponder on the following question before you give up the right to sue.
1. What exactly are you giving up?
You need to weigh the settlement offer versus what you could be giving up. You need to ask yourself if there is a chance that you can get more compensation if you wait it out. You also need to consider the potential of additional claims from the accident.
2. What is the insurance offering in light of what you are giving up?
A San Diego personal injury lawyer can help you assess what you are getting against what you are giving up. If you add up the costs and the settlement makes sense, then you can sign a release form. However, the general rule is that you should be getting more than you are giving up. You also need to ask yourself why the insurance is so quick to make an offer. Remember that insurance firms are business entities and profit is their main motivation.
3. Do you fully understand the release form?
There are times when release forms may use insurance jargon that you are not familiar with. This is why you need legal expertise before you sign any legally binding document. Ask a lawyer to explain the details on the release form and the implications.
Signing a release form means that you give up the right to sue. Talk to a personal injury attorney before you waive this right.