What is the Purpose of a Release of All Claims Form?
Insurance adjusters will typically use a Release of All Claims form in conjunction with a settlement agreement. The basis for signing this document is that you are confirming that you are releasing the other party from all liability regarding the accident that occurred. There are implications of the form, so you need to know exactly what you are signing before you sign it. You should speak to a Colorado injury attorney to ensure that you are receiving sufficient compensation before you sign the form.
This document protects insurance companies against further litigation or attempts at recovering any damages from them in the future. Oftentimes, the insurance company won’t release any of the funds from the settlement until this document is signed.
What is Typically Included on a Release of All Claims Form?
Essential information that is usually found within a release of all claims forms are the names and addresses of all parties involved, their respective insurance agencies, and details regarding the settlement.
Also included are details regarding the accident, further information about your claim for property damages, injuries, and other damages, and their dollar amounts.
The total of the payment, the date it was issued, and the signatures of all relevant parties can be found on this document as well as the governing laws pertaining to the accident and the settlement.
Within the document is typically a sentence similar to the following: by signing the document, you are giving up your right to pursue further damages in exchange for an agreed-upon settlement.
What Are You Releasing With This Form?
By signing this document, you are releasing their obligation to pay you any more than what the settlement listed in the document is stated.
You are also giving up your right to pursue any legal options against the other party. This release means that you can’t change your mind at a later date and decide to pursue personal injury damages in court.
Finally, you are releasing the other party from fault in the accident. By agreeing to the terms laid out in the form, you willingly release the other party of any responsibility in the accident.
Once this form is signed and filed, that particular accident case is closed and can not be reopened.
What Do I Need to Know Before Signing a Release of All Claims Form?
It is crucial that you understand that by signing the document, you cannot go back at a future date and pursue further damages regarding this accident.
Insurance companies are well aware that you are in need of compensation to pay for the mounting medical bills or funds to fix your vehicle, and they typically use this to their advantage to rush you through the settlement process with the goal of you signing the release of all claims form.
This document allows them to settle the accident file and rest assured that they will not pay out any further. In some cases, insurance agents will use aggressive tactics such as “take it or leave it” to coerce you into signing the document. Don’t fall victim to the pressure tactics that some agents may use. Instead, educate yourself on the options available to you and consult an experienced personal injury attorney before signing anything. Whether you feel like the settlement amount is fair or not, it is imperative that you discuss your options with an experienced attorney before signing.
What Damages Can I Pursue in an Accident Case in Colorado?
Two standard categories of damages are available following a car accident in Colorado. They are economic compensatory damages and non-economic compensatory damages.
Economic damages are those that are tangible. You have documentation to support these losses, such as medical bills, property damage repair bills, home health care costs, future medical needs, and more. The loss of wages that occurred while you were tending to your injuries can also be included as well as any future lost wages you may suffer because of your injuries.
Non-economic costs are more complex as they aren’t tangible. Non-economic costs include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, emotional distress, and disfigurement or scarring. In Colorado, non-economic damages have a cap. Damage caps are limits on the amount you can recover (meaning you cannot collect more money than the cap allows). Current non-economic damages caps are $642,180 for incidents that occur on or after January 1, 2022, and $613,760 for incidents that occurred between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2020. The Colorado Secretary of State publishes a Certificate with all of the current damage caps. The Certificate can be found here.
Physical impairment damages are not capped. An experienced attorney can help you calculate the total of these damages based on your lifestyle, work, and other factors.
Another less common category of damages is punitive damages. Not all cases will result in punitive damages, but they are an option for some instances. Punitive damages are meant to punish the offender for careless or reckless behavior. Examples may be distracted, drunk driving, or excessive speeding, leading to the accident. Punitive damages can be significant, so it is essential to research if they are available to you in your circumstances.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Personal Injury attorneys are an invaluable asset after an accident. They can assist you in navigating the next steps, negotiate with insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident and their representatives, and more. While you are tending to your injuries and seeking the medical care you need, they can gather evidence to support your case, ensure that necessary reports (medical and police) are collected, and handle all communication so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
An experienced personal injury attorney will have your best interest at heart, while an insurance company or the other party involved in the accident will not. Our attorneys will ensure that you are not taken advantage of and that you don’t settle for far less than you deserve to compensate you for the damages.
Contact our office today at (303) 331-6460 to learn how we can become a tireless advocate for you. We have a never-give-up attitude, and we will help you have the same when pursuing the compensation you deserve to get you back on your feet and onto the next chapter of your life without unnecessary financial stress.