If you are involved in a personal injury case on behalf of your child, there are many parts of the process that might seem unfamiliar. There is lots of paperwork and forms that need to be considered. One form that your family needs to consider is the release form, which is oftentimes related to the settlement. You can learn more about the release form here.
A release form is a document that the defendant, or insurance agency, will want you to sign so they will be released from any future liability regarding your child’s injuries from the accident. This document accompanies some sort of monetary settlement. Your family can’t accept a settlement offer without signing a release. The language on release forms is often complicated, so it is important to understand what the document says. There are several parts that the typical release form will include.
Parts of a Release Form
Most importantly, the release form will contain language indicating that, once you have signed the form, you cannot receive any more compensation for your child’s injuries – even if you find other injuries from the accident later on.
The release form will also likely contain language stating that the insurance agency, or its client, does not admit having any fault in the accident or your child’s injuries. This language is not all that significant. It is mainly used for statistics – an insurance company doesn’t want its statistics to reflect a great deal of fault.
Further, the release form will indicate that, once your family signs the form, you can’t bring any other claims against the insurance company, or its client, involving the accident and your child’s resulting injuries.
The final paragraph of the standard release form will most likely include language stating that you haven’t made any other side-agreements with anyone else involved, including the insurance company, claims adjuster and the person responsible for the accident. This section is included so you can’t claim later on that your family was promised any additional money.
Contact a Lawyer to Make Sure You’re Signing a Good One
Personal injury settlements are final. Once you accept a settlement and sign a release, your child’s case is over. The insurance company and person responsible for your child’s accident are released from liability.
You should contact a personal injury attorney before signing a release form. If you sign a release without understanding what your child’s rights are, your family might be barred from further compensation for your child’s injuries and other damages. It is common for an insurance company to offer a settlement before a lawsuit is filed and the matter goes to trial. The insurance agency’s offer may not be sufficient compensation.