Every personal injury case settlement will involve a release of liability form (see my article on this topic) that must be signed in order for the agreed amount of compensation to be disbursed. Just like any other contract and form that you sign, the release form needs careful consideration and understanding before it is signed. Since it’s from the insurance company, it should be assumed that there might be a clause written in the form that will not be to your benefit, which is why it is important to discuss with an attorney before you sign the form to make sure you are not signing over any additional rights that are not necessary in the resolution of the case.
The release form includes all the important information about the case, including the settlement amount. Verify with your attorney that the correct amount is shown and that it is enough to cover your injuries and hardships related to the accident because once the insurance company receives the signed form, there is no way to re-open the case or receive any further compensation from them or the responsible party. With the release form, you are waiving your right to pursue any future claims regarding the current incident. But some forms might include a clause that releases other rights from you, such as health insurance claims. Seeking guidance from an attorney will ensure that the provisions in the release form are not going to negatively affect any future endeavors for you other than what is necessary to receive your settlement check.
If you have chosen to pursue a case against the responsible party on your own, their insurance company is going to be aware of this and try to reach a quick settlement with you for a lower amount. Once you sign the release form, you won’t be able to further negotiate for a higher amount, so make sure you are not rushing to sign it without making sure you are being properly compensated. If you choose to have an attorney represent you, they will make sure the amount you are agreeing to receive in the release form is the highest possible amount you can get. Too many times we’ve seen situations where a victim of an accident signs a release form without fully understanding what it says, and they are unable to mend the consequence because the release form keeps them from doing so.
At the Law Offices of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A, we have your best interest in mind and will help to ensure that you will not be signing anything that can cause further consequences in the future. We work to protect your rights to compensation and make sure that if a situation were to arise in the future regarding this personal injury matter, you are properly accounted for with the current settlement because once the release form is signed, nothing can be further pursued against the responsible party.