What is a release in a settlement?

signing a release in a settlement agreementMost personal injury claims result in a settlement, or a payment of an agreed-upon amount compensating you for your injuries. A settlement agreement is a legally-binding document both parties sign, agreeing to end the dispute and dismiss their claims. It’s also customary to sign a release in a settlement agreement. 

The release of all claims form releases the other party from liability, meaning that you cannot pursue further legal action after accepting the settlement.

It’s important that you understand how a release of claims form will affect your legal options. Make sure to thoroughly discuss your case with a Chicago personal injury lawyer at Langdon & Emison. It may be beneficial to take your case to court instead of settling with the other party. 

Release of All Claims

Release of all claims forms are also known as liability waiver forms. As mentioned above, they release the other party from liability and from having to pay additional claims. In other words, you’re signing a document that requires the other party to pay you in exchange for the other party being released from responsibility for the accident.

A release form should contain the following information about your claim:

  • Identification of the parties involved
  • The details of the accident (when and where it occurred)
  • Your claims (bodily injury, emotional damage, property damage, etc.)
  • Payment details
  • Governing law and enforceability of the agreement

The other person’s insurance company will likely ask you to sign a release form before they pay you. They may even hold on to the settlement check until they receive your signed release form. That may be frustrating, but in many ways, it’s beneficial for you – this gives you and your attorney time to thoroughly examine the document. 

Things to Remember Before Signing the Release in a Settlement Agreement

Before you sign the release form, have your lawyer examine the document thoroughly. They should make sure that all damages are accounted for. If something is left out or if you are still undergoing treatment for your injury, don’t sign the form.

Once that document is signed, you won’t be able to make additional claims, so it’s imperative that you review the agreement several times and make sure everything that should be accounted for is present in the document.

If you do not agree to the settlement offer, don’t sign the release form. Again, if you do so you give up the ability to hold the other party liable, and you’ll have to pay for upcoming or future costs yourself.

Elements of a Release Form

Of course, not all release forms will look the same or have the same particulars, but most will contain the following elements:

  • Identification of releasor and releasee – In the context of personal injury, the releasor is the injured party, and the releasee is the at-fault party.
  • Releasing obligation to pay – This part of the agreement states that you will not receive further payments from the other party.
  • Giving up the right to sue – By signing the form, you give up your right to sue the other party and their insurance company.
  • Non-admission of fault – The document also provides that no party is admitting fault. It doesn’t affect the settlement amount; instead, it simply provides that the parties don’t blame each other.

A Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Will Protect Your Legal Rights

You may experience serious ramifications by signing a form you don’t fully understand or agree with. By hiring a personal injury attorney at Langdon & Emison, you can protect your legal right to pursue compensation and prevent significant consequences.

Contact an experienced attorney at Langdon & Emison today to learn more about your legal options.

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