Once a settlement agreement has been reached, the insurer might ask you to sign something called a release of claims form.
If you are in a car accident and someone else is at fault, their insurance company is generally responsible for covering the cost of your injuries and damages. Many auto accident cases don’t go to trial. Instead, the parties involved are usually able to reach something called a settlement agreement. It is an agreement that the plaintiff is awarded a specific amount of money, and they agree to release the insurer from any further liability in the case. Foregoing a trial, the plaintiff signs a waiver in exchange for the amount that is agreed upon.
Before you agree to any settlement, it is imperative that you have a St. Louis car accident lawyer look over the paperwork to ensure that you know exactly what your rights and responsibilities are. Don’t ever sign anything until you have had a professional look it over.
What is a release of claims form?
Once a settlement agreement has been reached, the insurer might ask you to sign something called a release of claims form prior to compensating you. The form is a release that gives the insurer protection against any further action related to the case. It essentially releases the insurance company from responsibility. Typically included in in the settlement agreement, the plaintiff will be required to sign the form so that they are no longer eligible to recover for any further damages or injuries related to the accident. They can also be called liability waiver forms.
What to do before signing a release of claims form
Before you sign any release or claim form, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney look it over. If something isn’t included, or something unforeseen should happen, you will generally have no recourse to collect compensation once you’ve signed a release of claims form. Another important thing to do before reaching any agreement with an insurer is to wait until all medical procedures and care are completed, and you are stable. Not until you have had your medical condition evaluated, can you know what potential consequences could arise later on.
Insurance companies have only one goal in mind, and that is to minimize the cost that they have to pay out. They will often try to settle a claim quickly and have you sign a release so that they will be released from any further liability in the case. Sometimes plaintiffs get worried that if they don’t take the settlement, the case can be drawn out for a long time, so they end up settling for less than they should. There is almost always room in the settlement for negotiation, which is why it is so critical to have a St. Louis car accident attorney on your side.
Why speak with an attorney?
Once a settlement is reached and agreed upon, you will likely have to sign a release of all claims form to collect money. If you have gotten the proper settlement, then you should have no fear of doing so. However, make sure not to sign anything without having a St. Louis auto accident lawyer read through it and advise you as to whether it is a fair settlement. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.