The vast majority of all personal injury claims are resolved outside of courtrooms through settlements. A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract between the victim and the defendant whom they filed the lawsuit against. The terms of a settlement are negotiated back and forth until an agreement can be reached. Once negotiations have concluded, and a settlement amount is agreed upon, you will have to review and sign a release of liability form before your check is processed.
The Purpose Of A Release
A release is a binding contract agreeing to settle a claim in return for a sum of money. The primary purpose of the release is to prevent the victim from filing other claims against or seeking further damages from a defendant based on the same incident. In other words, you consent to drop all claims against the other party in return for the settlement money. Defense attorneys and their insurance companies are responsible for drafting releases.
What Information Does A Release Form Include
While some release forms are straightforward, others might include detailed terms and provisions that you must read carefully. At a minimum, the release form should consist of the following details:
- The parties involved and the party being released;
- Detailed information regarding the accident, such as the location, time, and date;
- You specific claims, like bodily injuries, property damage, lost wages, and emotional damages;
- The particular claim or claims that are being absolved; and
- The details of the compensation amount.
How A Release Can Affect Your Case
Once you sign a release, you cannot seek further damages even if your injuries are more severe than you first believed. For example, you will be responsible for future costs even if you need surgery because of injuries sustained in the accident. When damages are not accurately calculated, or the victim is still being treated, compensation is often grossly underestimated. Insurance companies are notorious for downplaying victims’ injuries and making lowball settlement offers. A reasonable settlement must consider all potential future damages, such as diminished earning capacity and future medical care.
Generally, personal injury settlement releases are final. Once signed, you cannot make any other claims or changes. While it may be tempting to settle your claim quickly, you might end up with substantially less compensation. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that you know the full extent of your damages before accepting a settlement. You do not have to agree to a settlement offer on your own. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s caring attorneys recommend discussing your case with a highly experienced lawyer before signing anything. Our seasoned team is available to help guide you through the settlement process.
Have An Elite Personal Injury Attorney Negotiate Your Settlement
Suppose that you, or someone close to you, have suffered severe injuries in an accident caused by another. In that case, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s veteran lawyers want to help you. Insurance companies and negligent parties have paid Jed Dietrich, Esq., celebrated as a Top 3 Personal Injury Lawyer in Buffalo, at least $1,000,000.00 or more 38 times to compensate his clients. Please feel free to contact our elite team anytime at 716-839-3939 or by completing the online consultation form for your complimentary, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation. We take all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you never have to pay anything until you are compensated.