What Are Car Accident Release Forms?

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In every car accident case, there are legal concepts that you need to understand before you reach any agreement with the insurance company. If you do not have the help of an experienced lawyer, you may not understand what you are signing. Your signature is binding, so you must understand all documents related to your car accident before you sign.

Our car accident lawyers at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys will make sure that your legal rights are protected and that the insurance company is honest when dealing with you.

Any Settlement Agreement Is a Contractual Document

A settlement agreement is a binding contract between you and the insurance company. Like any contract, there is a give-and-take between the two parties.

In order to be valid, a contract requires consideration. Each party must agree to either do something or forgo an action that they have the right to do.

When you reach a car accident settlement agreement, the insurance company is paying you money in exchange for your legal rights. You are pledging not to come back and sue the insurance company in the future for anything that arises out of your current claim.

The Insurance Company Wants the Certainty of a Release Agreement

Theoretically, nobody will want to pay you money knowing that you have an open-ended ability to come back and ask for more in the future.

The party that is paying you wants the certainty that comes with knowing that it is the conclusive end of your legal case. Any time that anyone is paying you, they will likely ask you to sign a release agreement, no matter the context.

Every settlement agreement comes with a clause that releases the insurance company from any further liability in connection with your claim. The release clause is binding, and it means that you cannot come back and seek more money in the future. It does not matter how much you settled your claim for or whether you received compensation for your injuries.

Once you sign the release clause, you are permanently bound by it, and the car insurance company is off the hook permanently and forevermore.

You Cannot Come Back for More Money When You Sign a Release Agreement

Everything in the settlement agreement is a term in a legal agreement. The insurance company must heed their own obligations, while you must follow yours. If you have signed a release, it means that you must follow it unless you can prove that the insurance company obtained it through fraudulent means.

The release claim will likely cover “any and all claims” arising from your car accident. For example, if you sued for the usual personal injury damages, you would not be able to come back and ask for emotional distress damages if you did not seek them at the time that you filed and settled the claim.

Further, you need to pay attention to the exact language of the release clause. Look out for language such as “release of all claims,” “settlement agreement and release,” or “release of liability.”

Not all release clause language is created equal. The insurance company may try to overreach and compromise other potential legal rights that you may have. An attorney should review the clause you are asked to sign to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of by the insurance company.

The Car Insurance Company May Pressure You to Sign a Release Clause

The release clause is the exact reason why the auto insurance company may want to steer you into accepting an early settlement agreement after your injury.

In some cases, the insurance company may realize that you could be due far more money, and they try to short-circuit your legal claim and take your rights from you for pennies on the dollar.

The insurance company knows that once you sign the release agreement, they have formalized the fact that they have taken advantage of you and gotten away with it.

Never Sign Anything Without Legal Advice

You should never sign any document from the insurance company without legal advice and review from an experienced lawyer.

The insurance company wins once they have persuaded you to agree to a below-value settlement. Always get legal help from an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to avoid putting yourself in that situation.

Further, you should carefully review any document that the insurance company asks you to sign for any language that could resemble a release agreement. The insurance company may claim that they are offering you money upfront to pay for your medical care, but they may ask you to sign a document.

They may try to sneak language into this document that absolves them of any future obligation to pay you. Insurance companies have been known to rely on deception and subterfuge to get out of paying you anything close to what you deserve for your car accident injuries. Never put anything past an insurer when money is on the line.

Insurers may only resort to deception when they see that you are on your own, knowing that they can get away with it. When an attorney promises that they will fight for your legal rights and protect you from the insurance company, their presence will keep you from falling victim to the auto insurance adjuster’s tactics that cost you money. The insurance company will try to get away with far less when they see that you are represented by an experienced lawyer.

Contact a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the attorneys at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys know how to put pressure on the insurance company to do things right. We once worked on their side, so we know the games they play and how to protect you from them. To speak with an attorney during your free initial consultation, you can send us a message through our website, or you can call us today at 910-405-7751.

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