“Release of All Claims” Form in a Car Accident in California
Don’t sign any insurance form without your lawyer looking it over first! That’s the absolutely critical message we want you to remember whenever you have been involved in a car accident. Now, some details on this particular form . . . .
When you’re settling an auto accident claim, the insurance company will ask you to sign a “Release of All Claims” form before sending you the check. This form, sometimes called a liability waiver, states that you accept the amount that the insurer is paying you, and that you agree not to pursue any more claims against the at-fault driver or their insurer.
Though a release form is a common part of car accident settlements, it’s vital that you review the document with your injury attorney before signing it. In the San Diego area, get case-specific legal advice from the top-rated Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers.
What is a Release of Claims for?
Once you sign the release form, it releases the at-fault driver and their auto insurer from any future liability associated with the accident. You will no longer have the right to make additional accident claims or bring an accident lawsuit against them. Even if you eventually discover more injuries from the same collision, the signed release form will bar you from claiming more compensation from the same at-fault party.
What does a Release of Claims form contain?
Every auto insurance company uses their own version of a liability release form, but in general, these forms will contain the following provisions:
- Settlement amount – the full amount you’ll receive from the insurance company and how you’ll receive it
- Release of claims – a paragraph or two saying this claim has been resolved and that the driver and the insurance company has no other obligation to pay you
- Waiver of right to sue – a stipulation that states you’re giving up your right to file a lawsuit against the driver or the insurance company for the same accident
- Indemnity – a provision that absolves the driver and the insurer from third-party interests in your settlement (for example, if a medical provider has placed a lien against your settlement, the at-fault driver and their insurer will not be responsible for paying it)
- Non-admission of fault – clarifies that this release form is not an admission of fault by any party.
You can expect your release form to have several other provisions besides the common ones above. Don’t hesitate to consult a trusted personal injury lawyer to ensure you understand each item and what it means for you.
Should I sign a Release of All Claims form?
Signing a release of claims form is a standard part of receiving an injury settlement. However, you don’t have to sign it as soon as the insurance company offers it. With the legal guidance of a personal injury attorney, you can discern when the insurer is offering you a fair settlement that’s worth signing the release for.
Insurance companies usually make early settlement offers that are far lower than what the injured victim deserves. Some claimants may be tempted to receive the money right away, but doing so would mean they won’t be compensated anymore if additional expenses come up later. For instance, if a claimant signs the release then finds out after a week that they need more back injury treatment, they can no longer claim money to pay for that additional medical cost.
When is the best time to sign the Release of All Claims?
It’s wise to avoid signing the Release of Claims until you’ve consulted a competent personal injury attorney. Before you sign, you’ll want to have a solid idea of how much the accident has cost you and might cost you in the future.
An experienced attorney would wait until you’ve reached maximum medical recovery to get a full computation of your medical expenses. Your lawyer should also help determine whether you’ll have injury-related needs in the future, such as long-term therapy or mobility devices. Accounting for your past and future costs, your attorney can then negotiate with the insurance company for the settlement you deserve.
Contact a San Diego County Personal Injury Attorney
Southern Californians rely on the Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers for excellent handling of their personal injury claims. Our firm has served the community for 20 years and running, winning over $100 million in settlements and awards on behalf of our clients. With our extensive experience and strategic know-how, we can help you maximize your claim through sharp legal advice and representation.
Consult with us for free about your injury claim. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless and until we obtain compensation for you. Call us today at (619) 550-1355.
Robert Hamparyan is one of California’s most accomplished personal injury lawyers. Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego was founded so that Robert could bring more of his skill and knowledge to personal injury victims in all types of cases. Robert and his team have dealt with semi truck accidents, wrongful death cases, brain & spine injuries, and many other types of personal injury cases with soaring success.
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