In the aftermath of being involved in a car accident in Arizona, individuals will be faced with a multitude of decisions surrounding the incident. If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by the actions of someone else, you will very quickly have to decide whether or not to accept an injury settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Often, you will also be asked to sign various types of release forms leading up to a settlement. Here, we want to discuss whether or not you should sign release forms when asked to do so after a crash occurs.
What Does Signing a Release Mean?
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident and it is clearly not your fault, you should not be surprised if the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver tries to get you to accept a quick settlement. Whenever you accept a car accident settlement from an insurance carrier, you will be required to sign a “release” form. This form means that you waive your right to file a lawsuit or bring any additional claims related to the accident. The form is called a release because it essentially “releases” the at-fault party and their insurance carrier from any additional liability associated with the incident.
Why Not Sign a Release Right Away?
To be sure, there will likely be a time where you do have to sign a release form after being involved in a vehicle accident. The reality is that the vast majority of vehicle accident claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. However, it is certainly not in anyone’s best interest to sign a release very soon after they sustain injuries or property damage in a vehicle accident. There are various questions you need to ask yourself in these situations (or preferably work with an attorney to answer):
- Are all of your damages covered? This may seem like a relatively innocuous question, one that should be easy to answer. However, it is not always easy to determine the extent of vehicle accident injuries in the days that follow a crash. Vehicle accident victims should never sign a settlement agreement or a release until after their doctor says they have reached maximum medical improvement. Additionally, crash victims should be sure that they are receiving the correct amount of compensation to cover their medical bills, including current bills as well as any medical expenses that may occur in the future caused by the car accident.
- Is your property damage taken care of? Most vehicle accidents only result in minor injuries or property damage. However, damage to a vehicle can lead to significant setbacks for those involved, particularly when individuals have only one vehicle. It can be a hassle to get insurance carriers to agree to pay the full amount of property damage for a vehicle. You should never sign a release until after you know that your vehicle will be repaired or replaced.
Working With an Attorney is Beneficial
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver anywhere in Arizona, you should speak to a skilled attorney who can help with your case. An attorney will be able to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and help you recover maximum compensation. They will handle the negotiations with the insurance carrier and will caution you when it comes to signing any paperwork sent over by the insurance carriers.