Personal Injury Blog

Be Careful What You Sign After an Automobile Collision

By: Matthew Tievsky

Putting your signature on a document can have powerful, irreversible, and sometimes very unfortunate consequences in the legal system, if you do it without care. If you sign a document, a court will likely presume that you read and understood the document -- even if you didn't have a lawyer, and even if the document was complicated.Maryland car accident lawyer

When it comes to an automobile collision, the most significant document that you can sign is called a "release." This is a form document that is issued by the insurance company of the other driver. If you sign a release, you are agreeing to drop your lawsuit (or waive your right to file a lawsuit) in exchange for a payment of a certain amount of money. In other words, signing a release settles your claim.

In principle, there's nothing wrong with signing a release. Indeed, in every case that we settle – and the vast majority of our cases settle – our clients do sign releases, to close out their cases. But it takes a lawyer's expertise to know when to sign a release, and to understand what exactly is in the release. You don't want to sign a release before the insurance company makes you a fair offer. And, on top of that, sometimes an insurance company will include provisions in the release that are unfavorable to you.

If you have been in an automobile collision and an insurance company is trying to convince you to sign a document, or to settle your personal injury claim, before doing anything else you should contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel for legal advice.