A Release of Liability Waiver, in the settlement of accident claims, can be titled in different ways, such as “Release,” “Release of All Claims” and “General Release.” Releases are standard in the settlement of accident claims. Generally, a Release of Liability Waiver is an agreement that in exchange for the acceptance of settlement money, an injured person agrees to not sue the insurance company nor the at-fault insured, and the matter is ended.
If a lawsuit has already been filed and the the case is in litigation, then the Release would settle the lawsuit and the case would be ended and not go to trial. After signing the Release of Liability Waiver, the injured person cannot seek further legal action against the insurance company, nor its at-fault insured, for anything and everything that may come up in the future resulting from the accident. In other words, if you sign a Release, you can never again seek further compensation from either the insurance company or the at-fault insured for your injuries.
How do you know whether or not you should sign a Release of Liability Waiver? By seeking the advice of an attorney with experience in injury cases. The fact is that a layperson will not usually be able to fully value all elements of compensation that they are entitled to recover. For example, in Florida, a person suffering a permanent injury in an auto accident is entitled to the following, and possibly more:
- Past, present and future medical bills;
- Past, present and future wage loss and/or impairment of future earning capacity;
- All other out-of-pocket expenses;
- A possible consortium claim for losses suffered by a spouse; and
- Past, present and future pain and suffering.
Although I strongly advise against doing so, if you do decide to sign a Release of Liability Waiver without having legal representation, you must be absolutely certain that you will not need to seek further damages from the insurance company nor the at-fault party. In other words, that your injuries are completely resolved, that you believe you are being fully compensated for your pain and suffering, and you have been reimbursed for all of your out-of-pocket expenses.