When you've been injured in a car accident, the responsible insurance carrier will do many things to attempt to save money on your claim. One of the first things you may encounter is a dollar amount and a release of liability form. What is this form? And what should you do before signing it? Here are some answers every accident victim needs to know.
What Is the Release of Liability Form?
As its name suggests, this form releases the insurance carrier from any further financial liability stemming from the accident. It is usually accompanied by an offer of a check and a deadline. These two strings are designed to rush the signer into waiving any more claims.
Why Shouldn't You Sign This Form?
There are many reasons why any victim should think twice about signing this form. First, it often comes before you've obtained and finished all medical treatments. Essentially, you don't yet know what costs may yet come up. This is true even if you've completed treatment but may still see bills coming from other medical providers.
An important consideration is also whether the release of liability applies solely to this insurer and a specific insured party. Liability for some accidents is shared by others, including the vehicle's owner, property owners, other drivers, or even the city or county. Don't sign away your right to seek other compensation.
Finally, the release of liability is a legal document filled with legal language that an ordinary American may not fully understand. Without a qualified attorney to go over it, you may accidentally lose fundamental rights.
When Should You Sign the Form?
Of course, each injury case is different. So there are times when a victim might opt to go ahead and sign the liability release. What these cases have in common is that the victim knows their overall expenses and recovery expectations before signing.
If you had few injuries and no serious ones with any long-term effects and your vehicle's damage is manageable, you may feel like you know enough about your financial loss in order to gauge the appropriateness of the insurer's offer. In this case, you might choose to simplify the process and sign the form.
Where Can You Learn More?
If you have received a release of liability form or expect to do so, start by meeting with an experienced car accident attorney in your state. They will help you determine your best course of action and protect your rights. Make an appointment today.
For more info, contact a local firm like Thomas Law Firm.