Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to have your Chicago accident attorney review the settlement release. This precaution can protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Here, we’ll explore why having your Chicago personal injury lawyer review the insurance company’s settlement release is essential.
What Is a Settlement Release and Why Is It Necessary?
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may be considering settling your case with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Part of the settlement process will involve signing a release, which is a document that releases the at-fault party from any future liability.
A settlement release is necessary in order to make your settlement official and binding. Without it, the at-fault party could theoretically come back and sue you later on down the road. By signing a release, you’re essentially saying that you’re satisfied with the terms of the settlement and that you won’t take any further legal action against the at-fault party.
Of course, before you sign any legal document, it’s always best to have an attorney look it over first. Your attorney can make sure that the terms of the release are fair and that you’re not inadvertently giving up any important rights. Here are some things your attorney will look for:
- Whether the release includes all parties who should be released from liability, such as the at-fault driver, their employer (if they were on the job at the time of the accident), and any other potential defendants.
- Whether you’re releasing your claims against all potential defendants or just some of them. For example, if there are multiple defendants involved in your case, you may only want to release your claim against one of them.
- The specific language of the release. Your attorney will make sure that it accurately reflects what you’re agreeing to and that you understand all of the terms.
- The total amount of money you’re receiving in the settlement. This should be clearly stated in the release so there’s no confusion later on.
Signing a settlement release is a big decision, so it’s important to make sure you understand everything that’s included in it before you sign. Your attorney can help you do that and can also negotiate with the other side to try to get a better settlement offer if necessary.
The Insurance Adjuster Will Try to Take Advantage of You
The insurance company isn’t in the business of paying claims. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible. So after a car accident, the insurance adjuster will likely try to take advantage of you and pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer or try to get you to sign a release that waives your right to future compensation.
An experienced Chicago accident attorney can help you stand up to the insurance company and fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Potential Pitfalls of Not Having an Attorney Review the Release
There are a few potential pitfalls of not having an attorney review the release before signing it.
First, you may inadvertently waive your right to seek future compensation for your injuries. Second, the release may not accurately reflect the terms of the settlement agreement, which could lead to problems down the road.
If you have any questions about the release or the settlement agreement, an attorney can help you understand what you’re signing and whether it’s in your best interests.
Can You Change Your Mind Once You Sign a Settlement Release?
Once you sign a release form, you are legally bound by its terms and cannot change your mind about taking legal action. However, there may be circumstances in which you can void the release form and pursue legal action.
For example, if you discover that the other party was at fault for the accident or that the settlement offer is much lower than what your damages are worth, you may be able to void the release form.
What to Look for When Hiring a Chicago Accident Attorney
If you’re considering hiring a Chicago accident attorney after being involved in a car accident, here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Experience. You’ll want to choose an attorney who has experience handling cases like yours. Ask about the lawyer’s track record with similar cases, and whether they have experience working with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case.
- Communication. It’s important that you feel comfortable communicating with your lawyer. Be sure to ask about their communication style and whether they’re available to answer your questions as they arise.
- Settlement Release Review. Asking your lawyer to review a settlement release before you sign it is a smart move. Your attorney can make sure that the release is fair and protects your rights.
- Cost. Be sure to ask about the lawyer’s fees upfront, so there are no surprises down the road. Also, inquire about whether they offer flexible payment options or discounts for certain types of cases.
Meet with an Expert Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Before You Sign Anything
Before you sign a settlement release, it is essential to have your Chicago accident attorney review the document. The complex language in these documents can be difficult to understand and there may be hidden clauses that should not be overlooked.
A Chicago personal injury lawyer will be able to provide you with guidance as well as represent your interests during the negotiation process. Don’t rush into signing a document without having an expert look it over first.
We suggest you call our office at (312) 757-8640 and schedule your free, initial consultation.