So you were in a car accident. The insurance company presents you with an offer to pay your claim. They send you some documents, all you have to do is sign and you will get paid. So should you do it? Absolutely not! You should never ever sign paperwork without first speaking with an attorney.
After making a claim, an insurance company will present you with an offer to compensate you for your claim and send you a document called a Release of Claim form. If your claim is for compensation for injuries sustained from a car accident, then the document will be titled Releases of Claim for Bodily Injury. Below is an example of what a Release of Claims for Bodily Injury may look like.
The undersigned, for and in consideration for the sum of (amount of money they are offering to pay for your claim) Dollars and 00/100 cents paid to (your name), a single individual, hereby releases (other driver’s name) for all bodily injuries sustained by you as a result of an accident that occurred on or about (date of accident), at or near (location of accident.
Signed this ___ day of ________, 2011.
_____________________________ _____________________________ Signature Print name
Please note that this is just an example, the language may differ. Basically the Release is stating that for a certain amount of money, that you release your claim for all bodily injuries sustained from the accident. This means that once you sign this form you cannot make any further claims for this accident, that they will not pay you any more money. The insurance company will instruct you to sign this document and then they will pay your claim.
As a Miami accident attorney I see this mistake all the time. Clients come to me after a car accident, they signed a Release of Claim from the insurance company and they received little money. It is tempting to accept the money and quickly resolve the matter, but you may be entitled to more money for the damages and injuries from your car accident.
Often insurance companies will start with a low offer. They want to pay as little as possible to resolve you claim. Your claim may be worth more than the offer that they present you with. An attorney can advise you on the value of your claim and help you get the maximum amount for you claim. Attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance companies. An attorney can protect your rights to ensure you get the compensation that you are entitled.
A South Florida injury attorney is here to assist you 24/7 should you have any questions. We can be reached at 305.764.9907 or 1.888.413.8353.