Insurance Settlement Releases
Transcript: Hi I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub and this video discusses what to do in a situation where the other driver’s insurance is trying to get you to sign a release in exchange for the payment of some small amount of money.
Sometimes insurance companies are very aggressive about contacting people who are injured in an accident, trying to give them a small amount of money–$500 or $1,000–in exchange for having them sign a release.
You should be very wary if this situation happens. The purpose of signing a release is to get you to sign away your rights to any future benefits. Once you settle, if you sign a general release, it will most likely bar you from bringing any further action. If an insurance company is pressuring you to conclude your claim, to accept a nominal payment, or to sign a release, be very wary. Contact an attorney at once.
A release is a legal contract and most of the time it is binding. Now of course there are times when people can argue that well, this release was signed under duress or I was defrauded in some way, but that’s highly unusual and you’re much better off consulting an attorney before signing a release than signing one and then trying to find a way to get out of it.
A general release will release all claims. There’s also another type of release called the limited release, and that limited release may release, for example, property damage claims.
And typically, insurance companies will deal with a property damage claim in such a way that they give you a limited release that enables you to continue to pursue your case against the wrongdoer–the other driver–for injuries, but if you’re in any way uncertain, contact an attorney because you certainly don’t want to sign a release that ends up being a general release if you are not intending to give away all claims.
Remember, if you’re asked to sign a release, you could be giving up all rights to sue the other driver forever. This is a dangerous proposition.
Contact an attorney right away if you’re in a situation where you’re being asked to sign a release and it’s unclear as to the nature and extent of your injuries. Again, this is just a general video on the subject of releases.
If you need particular advice on any particular language in a release or other document, you should contact an attorney. You’re welcome to contact us at any time if you need assistance with an injury matter and our number is listed on our website.