Anytime you are hurt as a result of the negligent acts of another, you have the right to file a case to recover for your injuries and property damage. In many instances personal injury cases are resolved by agreeing to accept a settlement from the negligent party’s insurance carrier. If these are the facts of your case, you may be wondering what is required in order to finalize a personal injury settlement. Of particular important to you is the question of whether your agreement to the terms offered is required to settle a case, or if the insurance company can simply send a check to your attorney’s office and close its file on the matter.
For any personal injury case, your consent is required before an offer can be accepted. Your attorney should relay all offers to you, and explain to you the impact of settling your case. Among the documents you may be asked to sign before the insurance company remits payment are:
- A release: this document is usually pretty lengthy, and contains a lot of legal jargon. The release is important to the insurance company because it basically lets them off the hook for any of your expenses once the terms are accepted. What this means is that if you have not fully recovered and incur expenses after taking an offer, you cannot ask the insurance company to cover those costs. This is why it is so vital that you only accept an offer and sign a release after your attorney has carefully reviewed all of the facts, including your medical condition, and explained the process to you fully.
- A settlement agreement: this document sets forth the terms of your agreement and is generally pretty specific as to the fact that you are agreeing to settle your case for a certain amount of money.
- A document regarding liability: sometimes the insurance company will want to include a provision in the settlement that indicates neither party was at fault, but due to the economics of litigation the insured’s company is remitting payment to you for your injuries.
It is smart to have a trained legal eye review any document before you sign on the dotted line, but the ultimate decision is yours. Your attorney cannot accept a settlement on your behalf without your consent, and should fully explain the terms being offered. If you have been in an accident, let one of our skilled personal injury attorneys help you.
If you have questions about how personal injury cases are handled, call our office for answers. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for your case. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.