What Accident Victims Should Know about Release of Liability Forms

Someone that has submitted a personal injury claim to an insurance company must sign a release of liability form, if he or she expects to receive any of the compensation that was promised by the insurance company.

Once a claimant’s signature has been placed on such a form, the claimant’s claim becomes sealed forever.

Good injury lawyers in Ottawa do not let their clients sign such a form, if any client’s treating physician has indicated that there is likelihood that the patient/injured victim might need additional medical treatments in the future.

An acceptable release of liability document should contain the following information

The names of all those that were involved in the accident: No lawyer would encourage a client to sign a form that failed to give the names for any of the occupants in the claimant’s or defendant’s vehicle. The insurance company should be held responsible for the treatment of any injuries to such occupants.

The name of the defendant’s insurance company: That would be on a form for any person that had made a 3rd party claim. A policyholder’s own insurance company would be on the form of any person that had made a 1st party claim.

The date of the accident

The amount of money agreed to by the settlement

—Some forms contain specifics about a medical bill, or a future medical expense. Lawyers want to see such information on any form for a client that faces the likelihood for the need for one or more future medical treatments.

A statement from the claimant that he/she is releasing the defendant from additional claims liability. In other words, no claims, other than any of those stated on the form.

The lawyer retained by the accident victim ought to review any release of liability form, before the client/victim signs it.

Lawyers make sure that all of the information on the form is accurate.

Lawyers study the statement on such a form, so that a given claimant does not release the insurance company from the obligations that it ought to be expected to handle. For instance, there should be mention of any future medical treatments, if the treating physician has mentioned likelihood that such a treatment would become a necessity.

Sometimes lawyers prepare their own release of liability form. Normally, though, the insurance company prepares such a form. Still, a claimant’s lawyer does not have to accept the wording on a client’s form. An insurance company could be asked to change that wording, before the same client would be ready to sign it.

A client might object to the time spent on fixing the release form; however, lawyers do not want their clients to get cheated in any way, even while awaiting their compensation.