The final step before receiving your settlement check from a car accident is signing a release of all claims form. The form might seem straightforward, but you could potentially be giving up some rights to future claims. Depending on the nature of your injuries, this could be a huge mistake. Before you sign the form, here are some questions to ask.
What Are the Contingencies?
The release of all claims likely contains contingencies that need to be addressed before you sign. The contingencies could be requested amendments to the settlement agreement that your attorney or the insurance company have made.
For instance, if you are being paid $100,000 for the accident, the contingency will detail how the money is paid. In addition to determining if it is one lump sum payment or installment, the deadline for the payment and what happens when the payment is not made is included.
The contingency could also work against you. For instance, there could be a contingency that ends the agreement at a certain point even if the entire settlement is not paid. If you are not aware of the contingency, you could agree to receiving an amount for far less than you expected.
Therefore, it is important that you read and understand the contingencies that are in the release form. If you have questions, ask your attorney for clarification. Your attorney can also ask for amendments to the contingencies if necessary.
Can You File Another a Claim in the Future?
Unfortunately, some injuries can recur even after receiving treatment. If you develop medical problems at a later date that are basically a recurrence of the injuries you suffered in the accident, you might not be able to ask the insurance company to cover your medical expenses.
The standard release of all claims forms protects the insurance company from future claims after a settlement is reached. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, you cannot take action against the insurance company.
To avoid this, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possibility of a future recurrence of your injuries. If there is a possibility, your attorney can ask for a change in the release form that would allow you to file another claim in the future, if necessary. The insurance company might require restrictions be added to the amended form, including an expiration date on how far in the future you can file a claim on the injuries.
For more information about handling car insurance claims, contact a lawyer such as Alexander Law Group.