Should I sign a release?
Suppose you or your loved one has been injured due to someone else's negligence, and they agree to settle. In that case, signing a release without consulting an experienced personal injury attorney is never advisable. Such an attorney will ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
How Can an Attorney Help If the Insurance Company Wants to Sign a Release?
When an insurance company offers to settle, chances are they want to close the case as soon as possible. If you are not familiar with how insurance companies work, you may be tempted to believe that they care about you or your loved one, which is why they want to settle the case immediately. But that is not necessarily true.
Such companies may want to settle a claim quickly because they do not want you to consult an attorney. This is because consulting an attorney opens a whole new world of possibilities you didn't know existed. For example, the attorney will evaluate the settlement amount and compare it with the damages you suffered. This ensures that the settlement offer is consistent with the damages you or your loved one incurred.
Most insurance companies will only offer to settle common damages such as medical expenses. However, with the help of an attorney, you may be shocked to discover that you are entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages and much more.
What Happens If I Reject a Settlement Offer?
If you reject the settlement offer, it sets the stage for further negotiations. Rejecting this offer does not mean you are no longer eligible for compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and other damages. Rather, it means you are ready to fight for your rights, ensuring you receive the settlement you need and deserve.
Why Do Insurance Companies Propose Low Settlement Offers?
Insurance companies propose low settlement offers for various reasons. To them, this is a game of probabilities. They would want to propose a lowball offer because they assume you do not understand the actual value of your claim. Therefore, they hope you agree to settle for the lowball offer.
Secondly, insurance providers propose lowball offers because they want to save money. That is how these companies make money in the first place. They minimize the amount they spend on compensating injury victims while maximizing the amount of money they receive as premiums.
What Happens If I Sign a Release?
Signing a release means you have accepted the settlement offer from the insurance provider. This marks the end of your claim. The insurance provider will process your claim within the agreed timeframe and then effectively close the case.
Can I Open a New Claim After Signing a Release?
One of the reasons it is never advisable to sign a release without an attorney is that you cannot change your mind later and open a new claim against the insurance company after signing this form. This is because by signing the release, you agree to free the insurance company from any liability regarding the accident. So even if you discover that the settlement offer was way less than what you were entitled to, you cannot turn back and file a new claim with the insurance provider.
Are There Any Exceptions to This Rule?
Yes, some exceptions might apply to your specific situation. However, these exceptions are rare. To file a new claim against the insurance provider after signing a release, you must be able to prove that they intentionally misled you into signing the release. Specifically, you must demonstrate that the insurer lied to you about the claim.
You may also be able to file a new claim if you can prove that the insurance provider committed fraud when settling the claim. However, since these companies are usually aware of these rules, it is unlikely that they will make such careless mistakes. Secondly, even if they lied to you or committed fraud, it will be much more difficult to convince the court, especially if you have already signed the release.
What Should I Do After Rejecting a Settlement Offer From an Insurance Company?
After rejecting the settlement offer, you will need to respond with a counteroffer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate the nature of your injuries and determine the best counteroffer to present to the insurance company. The attorney will consider both economic and non-economic damages when drafting this offer. After coming up with a fair amount, the attorney will then present the offer to your insurance provider.
What Happens If the Insurance Company Won't Settle My Counteroffer?
If the insurer refuses to settle a counteroffer, your attorney will explore other options, including filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. If the case goes to court and you win, the insurer will need to compensate you for the damages you suffered and the legal fees involved. This further explains why most insurance providers would rather negotiate a settlement out of court.
Contact a Morgan and Morgan Personal Injury Attorney
At Morgan and Morgan, our personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators. We are familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying the full value of such claims. For this reason, we can fight for you or your loved one, ensuring you receive the compensation you need and deserve after the injury.
If your insurance company wants you to sign a release, don't do it. Rather, contact Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation. You might be surprised to discover that you are entitled to more than the insurer offers.