An unfortunate event happened the other day: A very nice young man (we’ll call him Emilio) slowly and cautiously walked into my office in obvious discomfort. During our conversation, he had to pause several times to wait until a debilitating wave of pain passed. Emilio informed me that, about a week ago, he had been driving through a green light at an intersection when another car ran a red light and slammed into the passenger side of his car. Emilio explained that the other driver got the ticket, and had liability insurance. I took a look at the other driver’s insurance policy, and sure enough, everything was in order – the other driver did in fact have enough coverage to pay Emilio’s medical expenses and then some. I was optimistic that our firm would be able to help this prospective client receive the highest quality of medical care, and see that he was fairly and adequately compensated for his out-of-pocket expenses and for his pain and suffering.
But then he showed me one other piece of paper.
It was only a single page and was entitled Injury Release and said something to the effect of: For One-Thousand Dollars consideration I forever discharge for all actions, causes of action, demands, damages, costs, and any compensation whatsoever, which the undersigned now has or may hereafter accrue as a result of an accident which occurred on or about <date> at or near the intersection of <x> and <y>.