No personal injury case ends with you riding off into the sunset with all that money you have received as compensation for your slip and fall injuries or any other injury.
In almost all personal injury cases, the defendant – the at-fault party and his/her insurance company – will demand that you sign a release of their further responsibility and liability for future claims against them. The release of liability is basically a document that bars you from recovering additional damages and/or bringing a lawsuit against the at-fault parties from the date you sign the release.
You know that our Aventura slip and fall accident attorney would not waste your time for no reason. So, as you have probably guessed already, the process signing a release has its own pitfalls and limitations, and that is exactly what we are going to talk about today.
In almost all cases when you are required to sign a release, the terms of that document will include but not be limited to:
That is the total dollar amount of your injuries, damages, and losses that the insurance company and at-fault party paid to you or are expected to pay. If the defendant has not paid the entire settlement amount, make sure the release clearly states what amount you have received to the day, as the defendant may attempt to use this document as proof that you have been paid the entire settlement amount (even though you have not).
By agreeing to this term, you are releasing the at-fault party and his/her insurance company from responsibility and liability for any claims against them, including but not limited to claims seeking compensation for past, present, and future injuries and damages. This one is quite tricky for several reasons. First of all, the document needs to clarify that you are releasing the parties listed in the Release from further responsibility and liability only for this particular accident. Failure to clarify this may make it impossible for you to recover damages for any other accidents that involve the same at-fault party and/or the same insurer. Second of all, since you are releasing the defendants from any further liability for your future medical expenses associated with the injury, you need an Aventura slip and fall accident attorney to calculate the value of your claim by taking into account your future medical bills.
More often than not, insurance companies will demand that you agree in the Release that you will be barred from disclosing the terms and provisions in the Release, the settlement amount paid, or even the existence of that document. That means you will not be able to discuss the contents of the Release with any third party, including your attorney, accountant, doctors, unless the document clearly states that you are allowed to disclose certain terms to third parties.
By signing the Release, you waive the right to jury trial and any litigation relating to the slip and fall or other accident. Seek legal help of your personal injury attorney in Aventura or elsewhere in Florida to ensure that the defendant has paid an adequate amount of money to cover all of your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Some releases of further liability may include the term that the document will not be effective until after the Court has approved the settlement and the lawsuit relating to the accident, if any, has been dismissed.
As you can see, there are many pitfalls you need to be aware of when signing a Release. But not all insurance companies use a standard approach when it comes to signing a Release, which is why you should always consult with a slip and fall accident attorney in Aventura or elsewhere in Florida prior to putting your signature at the bottom of the Release. Contact the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A., to speak about your case. Call our offices at 305.931.6666 or toll free 954-523-8292, or fill out this contact form to get a free consultation.