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Should I Sign an Insurance Release?

Insurance companies representing both parties are often involved in personal injuries lawsuits. If you are injured in a car accident, then claims should be made against the appropriate auto insurance providers. Insurance companies also become involved in cases where injuries occur in the home or at a place of business. For example, if you slip and fall in a grocery store, the store’s insurance carrier will most likely be in charge of handling your claim for company. Likewise, product manufacturers and distributors often carry insurance that comes into play in products liability cases.

Personal injury claims can be settled with insurance carriers well before going to trial becomes necessary, especially if you are not fault for your injuries. In fact, insurance claims adjusters are often very motivated to settle claims early on. However, before you can receive any compensation, you will most likely be required to sign something called an insurance release.

Considerations in Signing an Insurance Release

Each insurance company uses its own release but essentially, an insurance release form states that you are giving up any future rights pertaining to the accident and injury at issue. In other words, by signing the release, you are promising not to file any additional future claims against the at-fault party or that party’s insurance carrier.

While it is usually necessary to sign the release in order to receive your settlement, it is very important to read the language of the release carefully before signing. It is very important that you determine whether or not you are receiving a fair settlement. If you had to seek medical attention for your injuries then it is relatively easy to calculate your past medical expenses. But keep in mind that some injuries do not appear right away. Likewise, there may be complications with your recovery process that require you to seek additional medical attention in the future. Because signing the release prevents you from filing a second claim against the insurance carrier, your settlement should take into account the potential for additional medical costs.

You must also consider your own insurance company before signing a release. In some cases, you may be required to obtain the permission of your insurance provider before signing a release. As discussed, by signing the release, you are giving up your right to file additional claims against the at-fault party and their insurance provider. You may also be giving up the right for your insurance company to file a claim on your behalf. So, for this reason, you should check with your insurance company before signing a release.

Contact an Experienced Insurance Attorney for Advice

It is usually a good idea to consult with an attorney before signing any type of release. In addition to future medical costs, it is very likely that you have suffered injuries that are difficult to translate into a dollar amount. For example, your injuries may cause you suffer physical or emotional pain for months or years to come. You may have to miss time from work and there may aspects of your life that you may no longer be able to partake in. An experienced attorney can help you determine the full extent of your injuries and an appropriate settlement for those injuries.

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