Most car accidents that result in injuries or property damage will be resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. Typically, the at-fault party’s insurance carrier pays compensation to crash victims. However, before settlement compensation is delivered, an insurance carrier is going to ask individuals to sign an accident release form. Here, we want to discuss what this release form is and whether or not you should sign it right away.
Anytime you receive documentation from the insurance carrier, you need to read it very carefully. This is particularly true after an accident occurs that was caused by the actions of another driver.
Before the insurance carrier sends you any settlement money for your injuries or property damage, they’re going to ask you to sign a document that releases the insurance carrier from any future liability for the incident in question. In other words, after you sign that form, you will no longer be able to recover any type of compensation for that particular claim.
Understanding when to sign a release form with the insurance carrier can be complicated. It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to try and offer a quick settlement to an injury victim, often within a week or two after the incident occurs. If the evidence clearly points to the insurance carrier policyholder being at fault, they may want the claim to be over with as soon as possible. By extending an early settlement offer, the insurance carrier is trying to resolve the claim as cheaply as possible.
In many cases, crash victims need compensation right away. This could be due to medical bills that are about to pile up, lost wages because they cannot work while they are recovering from their injuries, or property damage expenses. Seeing an initial settlement offer from the insurance carrier can be enticing when you need money. However, first settlement offers are typically far below what they should be, and this is a tactic used by the insurance carrier to get away with their version of “robbery.”
Vehicle accident victims should never sign an accident release form until after they have completed all medical treatment for injuries caused by the accident and after they have multiple estimates for property damage repairs. The reality is that the full effect of some car accident injuries and property damage is not known until weeks or even months following an incident.
We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Colorado car accident lawyer very soon after an accident caused by another driver. A skilled attorney will examine the facts of your case and help advise you on the best steps moving forward for your particular situation. Your lawyer will be the one to handle all communication with the insurance carrier, including any negotiations revolving around the settlement. A Denver car accident attorney will advise you about when to sign the vehicle accident release form. You need to make sure that you recover maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and property damage expenses.