Generally, it is not wise to sign this form until an attorney has reviewed it. The Release of All Claims Form you receive from an insurance company is a binding legal contract. When you sign it, you give up all further opportunities to collect a damages award above the specified amount. An attorney can verify that you are getting the largest insurance payments available under the facts of your car accident case.
At Kogan & DiSalvo, we fight to protect our clients from overzealous car insurance companies that seek fast settlements of car accident claims. In almost every case, it benefits the at-fault party and their insurers by putting a cap on the amount an injured party can recover. Regardless of how minor your losses and injuries might seem, you should always consult with an experienced car accident attorney in Florida before you execute a Release of All Claims Form.
What Information Is Included in a Release of All Claims Form?
The auto insurance company that prepares the Release of All Claims Form in your car accident case will use that form to limit its liability for your damages and losses. It also protects the insurance company from paying more than the amount stipulated in the contract. The release form will generally include the following:
- A full and final release of the insurer from having to pay you anything more than a stated damages award, regardless of whether you later discover that you have additional damages.
- A statement that you are giving up your right to file a lawsuit or to make additional claims against the at-fault party and their insurers.
- Your acknowledgment that the form will not be used as evidence to show that a party is admitting fault for the car accident.
- Your agreement that you will keep the information confidential and will not disclose it to third parties apart from being ordered to do so by the appropriate authorities.
These are all legitimate contractual promises you make in exchange for the insurance payments you will receive. However, it does not guarantee you are getting the largest settlement that may be available to you.
What Damages Might Be Omitted from a Release of All Claims Form?
The losses and damages you suffer after a Florida car accident generally include your immediate medical expenses and the value of your property losses.
The full amount of damages you might be eligible to recover will encompass far more, such as:
- Anticipated future medical expenses for ongoing treatment of long-term or chronic injuries from the accident.
- The value of the wages and job opportunities you lost while recovering from your injuries.
- Compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Expenses associated with modifications to your living quarters that you might need to accommodate your injuries.
These and other expenses are often not apparent until weeks or months after the accident. However, if you sign a Release of All Claims Form without considering these expenses, you lose all rights to recover compensation for them.
What If Two or More Auto Insurance Companies Are Liable for Paying Your Damages?
Each insurer liable to reimburse your car accident losses and expenses will likely ask you to sign its own Release of All Claims Form. In addition, each form will be specific to the car insurance company that presents it to you. However, the contractual provisions you agree to on one form can impact the provisions in another, limiting your total damages recovery. When you retain a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer after your Florida accident, they will confirm that all insurance recoveries are properly coordinated so that you are getting the largest aggregate damages award in your case.
Call Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation Before You Sign a Release of All Claims Form
We have offices in Boca Raton and multiple locations in Southeastern Florida. Our veteran team of attorneys has years of experience representing and advising injured clients in Florida car accident lawsuits and negotiating the Release of All Claims Forms with auto insurance companies.
Please call any of our offices after you suffer injuries in a Florida car crash for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. If you retain our firm, we will verify that you are getting the largest available insurance payout. We can also ensure that insurance companies are not taking advantage of you by persuading you to sign a Release of All Claims Form–before you know the full extent of your losses and injuries. In addition, we work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.
We look forward to hearing from you.