Posted on: March 23, 2013
The first rule regarding release paperwork from the other party’s insurer is this: Don’t sign anything until you have talked with an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer .
There are a few different kinds of releases the other party’s insurer might ask you to sign, including a HIPPA release, and/or a release of liability accompanying a settlement offer.
Here are a few things you will wish later that you knew before you signed on the dotted line:
It’s not routine.
When an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company asks you to sign anything, it’s not routine and you don’t have to do any of it. You don’t need to give a statement about what happened in the crash – and you definitely don’t need to release your medical information or accept a settlement offer i mmediately after your accident !
When the other company’s insurance company asks you to sign a HIPPA release, the adjuster isn’t usually just looking into your current medical issues related to your auto accident injuries.
After you sign a HIPPA release form, the insurance company will have access to ALL of your medical records and can comb through them, looking for evidence of pre-existing conditions that could discredit you and your personal injury claim.
Quick settlements are rarely fair settlements.
If the other party’s insurer makes you a generous settlement offer immediately after your car accident , there’s usually a reason. Insurance companies exist to make money and they operate on high profit margins. They generally don’t make overly generous offers.
If you get an offer quickly after your accident, the company is probably trying to close the case before you realize how expensive your claim may be.
When you accept a settlement offer and sign a liability release, you could be closing your case. If your medical bills keep mounting and the settlement doesn’t come close to covering your expenses, you may have no recourse. You may have already released the other driver and his or her insurer from all liability in your case.
You could lose benefits from your insurer.
You should notify your insurer if you are going to accept a settlement and sign a release of liability. If you sign without discussing it with your insurer, your insurer can refuse to pay the remainder of your expenses on your under-insured motorist policy because it can’t pursue retribution when you sign a release of liability.
If you have questions about what to do after a car accident, contact the experienced legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We offer a free case evaluation that will help you understand your rights and options.