After an accident, you’ll need to file a claim and start the process with your insurance company. Then either your insurance provider or the company protecting the other party will ask you to sign a release. Never sign anything without an attorney present to review the document. Read the document thoroughly and bring it to your car accident lawyer for guidance.
What is an Insurance Release?
An insurance release, the most common request after an accident, is a document that gives the insurance company a free pass. This document legally releases the company from liability as soon as you accept a settlement. It means that you cannot pursue your claim simply because they offered you a check. Upon signing it, you will not be able to collect further compensation.
Do I Need to Sign a Medical Release to the Insurance Company?
A medical release request is most common with car accidents. After a claim, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will ask for a medical release. The excuse is that they “need” to verify your injuries. Under no conditions should you sign this type of release.
Insurance companies do not work to protect you. They protect themselves. Upon signing a medical release, they will gain access to your entire medical history and go through it to poke holes in your claim. Additionally, these records may contain information that would harm your reputation if made public. Once that information leaves the protection of a medical office, there is no guaranteeing where that information will go or who will see it.
When working with an attorney, they will formally request your medical records and only provide the insurance companies involved with snippets. The attorney should carefully go through and only provide relevant information to any external company.
Will My Insurance Company Require That I Sign A Property Damage Release?
Property damage release requests are also common in car accidents as well as other forms of personal injury. If you were in a crash and your car was damaged beyond repair, the adjuster will request a property damage release.
In exchange for the property damage release, they will tell you that you may have a check coming to you. If you cash the check or sign the release, then you agree that the insurance company no longer has any liability, which means that you cannot request more compensation for the totaled vehicle or for other property damage.
If your car wasn’t totaled in the crash, then you don’t have to worry about this issue. Property damage releases are most common with totaled cars. It is crucial, though to always ensure that any check provided from the insurance company will cover all the property damage.
Why You Should Never Sign Insurance Releases Without Legal Guidance
Without proper legal guidance signing a release could mean that you get next to nothing for your damages. It officially ends your claim. It also acknowledges that you received a settlement offer that you probably could have counteroffered. It’s likely that you will accept substantially less money than what you deserve.
Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of people with underhanded tactics and lowball settlement offers. The hope is that anyone without a legal background will believe that this is standard procedure. With an attorney involved, you can negotiate for a full or fair settlement amount.
Don’t Take-On Insurance Company Yourself. Call Ted A. Greve & Associates Today!
Dealing with insurance is probably the most challenging aspect of recovery. Even with extensive injuries, it can seem impossible to overcome the unrealistic demands of these massive companies. You should not take this massive job on by yourself. Bring in a skilled and knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Insurance companies are fast to assure the victims of accidents that everything they are requesting is “standard.” However, you’re under no obligation to sign these releases unless you agree to the terms as well. Many of these releases ensure that the insurance company won’t have to pay any additional compensation even if you realize the compensation offer doesn’t cover your damages.
The personal injury lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates can help you with your claim from start to finish. Schedule a free consultation today for guidance on issues such as insurance releases and how much compensation to request for your damages.