Once you and your Florida personal injury lawyer have concluded your lawsuit and settled the claim, the other party’s insurance adjuster will ask you to sign a personal injury release form. This form, also known as a “release of claims,” releases the insured person from any additional liability.
A personal injury release form is essentially a guarantee that you won’t pursue any additional legal action for compensation against the defendant.
The purpose of a personal injury release form
A personal injury release form protects the insurance company’s interests of the interests of their client, not you.
The release provided by the insurance company may ask you to waive any additional or further rights you might have. This is to benefit them, which is why it’s critical you have your personal injury lawyer review anything from the other party before you sign it.
Your lawyer and the other party’s lawyer may collaborate to create a neutral release form that doesn’t favor one party over the other.
The benefits of a Florida personal injury release form
Personal injury forms release one or both parties of their obligations or claims on one another. When your personal injury lawyer drafts a release with your interests in mind, it can leave the door open for you to seek future compensation if your condition changes.
For example, your attorney may include clauses that allow you to seek additional damages for unforeseen medical complications that arise from injuries sustained in the accident.
Components of the personal injury release form
The initial sections of the release will usually mention the settlement amount and will state that the defendant is released from indemnity in exchange for the stated sum. Look carefully at the language because it could also include a release from punitive damages. You should not waive punitive damages if you sought them in your complaint or if you had a valid basis to demand or expect punitive damages.
The release should only release the plaintiff and the paying defendant. Be sure that it doesn’t release other parties involved in the case.
For example, some personal injury claims may have multiple defendants, such as a commercial truck driver and the trucking company that employed them. If you release all other parties, then you’ll lose the opportunity to file a claim against the other parties in the future. Often, one defendant settles before the other, so your claim against the second defendant may still be valid and pending.
The release should also state that you aren’t recovering all possible damages from the accident. For example, if you collected short- or long-term disability insurance and the insurer places a lien on the case, then this language protects you from the insurer collecting those benefits.
A Florida personal injury release form should also include reservation of first-party benefits from first-party (yours) insurance like health insurance, auto, or disability.
Do you need representation in a Florida personal injury case?
If you’ve been harmed in an accident you didn’t cause, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your injuries. The Florida personal injury lawyers with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath represent people just like you in complicated personal injury cases.
Contact us today at (561) 655-1990 to schedule a free consultation.