After your car accident, the insurance company might ask you to sign a release. Before you sign an insurance company release form, you should consult a personal injury attorney. Once the release form is signed, it closes your case for good. You can’t reopen the claim in the future for any reason. With the release being signed and the matter officially closed, you will not be able to obtain compensation for future losses – regardless of whether those damages resulted from the accident.
This is something to think about and discuss with your lawyer before agreeing to a settlement amount. Our lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP have years of experience dealing with pesky insurance companies and their bullying tactics. We can help walk you through the entire ordeal.
What Is an Insurance Company Release?
An insurance company release, or “release of all claims,” is a legal document that releases the negligent party of a car accident and their insurance company from any liability and obligation to compensate you for any damages caused by the accident. The release form will come from the negligent party’s insurance company.
When you’ve been hurt in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, a lot of steps are involved in getting you compensation. When insurance companies get involved, it can sometimes further complicate an already complicated situation. Once the dust has finally settled, the insurance company of the at-fault party will send you a letter requesting that you sign a “release of all claims” form in order to receive compensation.
Confused, you thought everything was finished, and your final step was getting a check. You then realize the insurance company won’t release your settlement check without this signed form. Signing this release allows the parties involved to move forward. But if your settlement doesn’t match the severity of your case, this might not be the right move.
Do I Need Permission to Sign?
You may need permission from your insurance company before you agree to and sign a release form. Since one legal party may have been substituted for another in your car accident case, the third party may have a legal right to collect damages on behalf of another party. Also known as subrogation, this can come up depending on the amount of liability coverage the negligent party has.
In cases like this, you’d need permission because if you sign a release, you’re essentially giving away your insurance company’s right to be reimbursed. By signing away their rights, they may also deny you insurance claims depending on the type of coverage you have.
Understand What You’re Signing
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to pay out the least amount possible, taking advantage of accident victims. You will often receive release forms after an injury occurs due to an accident. Sometimes they may even try to disguise these forms by using words like “authorization.” This tactic is used to make you believe you are simply following protocol. Don’t fall for it!
A release form will likely mention the following:
- Your settlement
- Details of the settlement payment
- Details of the accident
- Your claim pertaining to property damage or bodily harm
- Identification of all parties involved
- Governing law
Don’t take insurance company adjusters at their word. Their job is to get you to sign the form and possibly agree to a lesser settlement amount. As a safety precaution, always document all conversations between yourself and the insurance company.
It may also be wise to take your own pictures of the damage and get a second opinion from another insurance adjuster. Always allow a legal professional to check your documents for miscommunication between you and the negligent party’s insurance company.
Legal jargon can be confusing to the everyday person, so don’t try to conquer any legal forms on your own. Before you sign any legally binding document, it is always best to discuss it with a lawyer first.
What does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP has a “No Fee Promise” for all of our clients. There is no up-front cost, no hourly fees, or surprise fees. We don’t get paid unless we win or settle your case. When we start working on your case, we discuss a percentage taken out of your settlement to cover any legal fees you may incur.
We’re Here to Assist You
The decision to sign an insurance release form includes a lot of factors. It’s important to make sure you have all the facts and that you’re confident in the decision you are making. Our office is available to assist you 24/7. Give us a call today at (516) 358-6900 for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900