What is a Release and Do I have to sign one in the Settlement of my Car Accident Case?
One of my main goals in representing clients in motor vehicle accident cases is to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get my client the highest possible settlement in their case.
Once my client and I have decided that the insurance company has offered the highest possible settlement in my client’s case and that it is in my client’s best interest to settle his or her case for the settlement amount, there is one final step left in settling the car accident case with the insurance company; the execution of the Release.
A Release is a legally binding contract that basically says that you agree to settle your case in exchange for the amount of money of the settlement. Generally, the insurance company will not authorize the settlement check to be cashed until the Release is executed and returned back to the insurance company and the insurance company will typically require that the Release is signed by you and notarized by a certified Notary Public.
Once you sign the Release and cash the settlement check from the insurance company, you agree to waive any legal claims that arose out of the car accident against the at-fault driver and the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Also, you agree to release the at-fault driver and the at-fault driver’s insurance company from any liability that came out of the at-fault driver causing of the automobile wreck.
It is very important that you thoroughly read the Release to make sure that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to before signing the document. In every car accident case that I handle, I make sure to read every sentence of the Release and go through every sentence of the Release with my client before my client signs the document to make sure my client understands exactly what the Release states and what is the specific effect of the Release.
One common mistake that often I see victims of car accidents make is signing the Release before the car accident victim has completed all medical treatment from the injuries that the victim sustained in the motor vehicle accident. Most Releases from the insurance company will say that you agree to waive any claims that you have for future medical treatment. Therefore, before signing a Release, you need to make sure that you have completely recovered from any and all injuries that you suffered in the car wreck and that you will not need any further medical treatment to heel from those injuries. This is one of many very important reasons that it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you in your automobile accident case.
If you have any questions about signing a Release in your motor vehicle accident case, please call our Durham personal injury lawyers for a free consultation or free phone call at (888) 820-5885 or complete our contact form on this page.