After negotiations with a trucking company and its insurance company to settle your case, you can sign the release and receive your payment. Before you sign the release, it is important that you understand the terms of the release and what you are giving up by signing it. If you are preparing to settle your case, here is what you need to know about the release.
What Is in the Release?
A written release is an agreement that is signed by both you and the insurance company. The document should outline what the settlement agreement covers. For instance, if you settled for $25,000 and the cost of your medical bills, it should be specifically stated in the release.
In addition to detailing what you receive from the insurance company, the document also releases the insurance and trucking companies from any liability in the future. For instance, if you suffer a relapse a few years later and require further medical treatment for an injury you received in the accident with the commercial truck, the insurance company and trucking company would not be responsible.
Your attorney can ask that future medical expenses or damages that result from the accident also be covered by the insurance company. If they negotiate this coverage, be sure it is clearly stated in the release.
What Happens If You Change Your Mind?
It is imperative that you are absolutely sure you want to accept the offer that the insurance company and your attorney have reached. Unfortunately, once you sign the release form, getting out of the agreement is nearly impossible. The document is considered a legally binding agreement. Unless you have a good cause, such as being under duress when you signed, a judge will be reluctant to toss the agreement.
If you are unsure about any aspect of the release, ask questions. While reviewing the release, write down any questions that you have for your attorney and the insurance company. Remember, until you sign the release, you do not have to accept the agreement. Your attorney can continue to negotiate with the insurance company or move to take the case to court, if necessary.
Your attorney is there is to protect your interests. He or she can help you understand the release. Your attorney can also help you assess your case and the offer you have received to determine if it is fair before signing the release and returning it to the insurance company.