What is a “Release of All Claims” Form?
One of the documents the insurance adjuster will attempt to get you to sign is the ‘Release of All Claims’ Form. This form is often included as part of a settlement agreement and it is a release of liability. Essentially, this form releases the other party from fault. When you sign this form, you are dismissing your claim and stating that your differences have been resolved.
Insurance companies will often demand that you to sign this document before they will pay you any money. This protects the insurance company from further litigation regarding this accident. It states that you are choosing to waive your rights to future claims on this accident and have accepted the settlement they’ve offered as adequate compensation.
Most ‘Release of All Claims’ Forms will include the following information:
- Details of the accident
- Your claim for property damages and/or bodily injury
- Identification of all parties
- Governing law
Insurance Companies Looking for Way to Reduce Their Payouts
Being involved in a car accident is a scary and confusing time for many Arkansas drivers. In the blink of an eye, you may suddenly find yourself struggling with unimaginable injuries and a car that has sustained serious damage or is even totaled. During this time, insurance companies often come calling, looking to protect themselves from liability and looking for any way to reduce their payouts. They may pressure you into signing lots of documents and forms by claiming that these forms are “routine” or “just a formality.” They may even claim that you cannot collect compensation from them without signing these forms and documents. Never sign anything without first speaking to an experienced and skilled Arkansas car accident attorney.
What is Released in the ‘All Claims Release’ Form
When you sign an ‘All Claims Release’ Form, you are releasing the liable party and their insurance company from the following:
- Releasing Obligation to Pay – you are giving up your right to receive further payments from any injury or damages that stem from this accident. Even if you later discover that your injuries are more severe or if you discover damages you didn’t realize you sustain, then you would not be able to collect more money. The settlement you agreed to is the final amount you are able to obtain.
- Giving up the Right to File a Lawsuit – when you sign the release form, you are also giving up your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company and the insured driver who is at fault.
- Non-Admission of Fault – signing the release form also agrees that no one is ‘at fault’ for the accident. You are releasing the other party from fault and agreeing to the terms outlined in the settlement.
What to Know Before Signing It
After an accident, you are undoubtedly ready to receive a check from the insurance company. However, the insurance company is counting on this urgency after an accident and they often take advantage of car accident victims during this time. They may use a “take it or leave it” approach to pressure injured accident victims into settling quickly and signing away their rights. When you feel pressured by the insurance company, know that there is always room for negotiation in these cases. Don’t feel pressured into accepting a settlement quickly. Take the time to discuss your case with an attorney and review all of your legal options before you agree to anything.
After a car accident, know what you’re signing and how this could affect your future and your ability to collect the money you truly need. Before signing an ‘All Claims Release’ Form, know that all damages related to the accident are fully covered. This may mean waiting until your injuries are fully healed or until the full extent of your injuries is known. Once you sign this form, you will not be able to go back and make additional claims.
We’re There When You Need Us
After an accident, injured victims need a law firm on their side that can protect them when negotiating with insurance companies. The insurance company is not on your side after an accident, and signing forms quickly is often a mistake for many injured accident victims. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our car accident attorneys want to help you make the best decisions after an accident, and that starts with getting to know you and your injuries, so we can protect you during negotiations.
No matter where you live, our attorneys are ready to assist you. With six offices in Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock, Fayetteville, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, and Memphis—our car accident lawyers are easily accessible from the moment you are injured. Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Injury Lawyers today. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 767-4815 and tell us your story.