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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    16

    Default Can I Ask for a Mutual Release Agreement Before Settling an Accident Claim

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California

    I was in a collision and the other driver was found to be at-fault by police and insurance companies, and her insurance company is taking care
    of all my expenses.

    Damage to car was not that bad and I told them repeatedly I wasn't injured and felt fine.

    However, the other driver said she was a little sore after accident so this went down as an injury in police report. She did look fine and was
    walking around and everything at the scene, but not all injuries show up right away.

    I began to stress when I read the police report and saw that she completely lied about how the accident occurred. The officer didn't
    believe her though, neither did her insurance adjuster. By the way she didn't seem like a slimy person, just young and freaked out and I
    suspect her family told her what to say as I mentioned in another post.

    I am now afraid to settle and sign off the claim, because as soon as I release her from any responsibility towards me then I'm afraid she (i.e.
    her parents) will try to sue me for injuries. The police report where she actually incriminated herself won't be allowed as evidence. And even though the
    officer wrote done her violation code, he didn't issue any tickets.

    So, can/should I ask to sign a mutual release form? Is that done? Once her insurance takes care of my car, I don't want to worry about this ever
    again. BTW even though I'm not physically injured, this whole thing is causing me major stress. I kept telling the adjuster I was fine because
    I didn't want the other side to be afraid that I would try to cheat them but now I'm afraid they're going to try to cheat ME and don't know what to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    34,712

    Default Re: Can I Ask for a Mutual Release Agreement Before Settling Claim

    Do you have insurance?

    you should be asking them about this since they are who will provide for your defense should you be sued. Due to that they have a vested interest that any release be proper and complete.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Can I Ask for a Mutual Release Agreement Before Settling Claim

    Thanks for response.

    I have insurance but I wanted to check if a mutual release is a normal thing to ask for in the first place. I read in a couple other
    places that this isn't done, that it slows the process...I don't know why.

    I was worried that even asking for it could give the other side the idea that I'm worried about this - like, if they aren't thinking they
    have a chance at suing me now maybe this would plant the notion in their heads, who knows.

    Oh, and a related question is do I have the right to inquire about the injuries of the other party? She filed a claim with her insurance
    so presumably they should be taking care of her medical expenses at this point if she has any?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,206

    Default Re: Can I Ask for a Mutual Release Agreement Before Settling Claim

    I'm a retired claim rep.

    Quote Quoting lexla
    View Post

    I wanted to check if a mutual release is a normal thing to ask for in the first place. I read in a couple other
    places that this isn't done, that it slows the process...I don't know why.
    It isn't done. And you aren't going to get one. The why is irrelevant. It's just not going to happen. The driver's insurance company is paying for your car damage. There typically is no release to sign for a property damage settlement. You get your car fixed, you get your rental paid for, you are on your way.

    Quote Quoting lexla
    View Post

    I was worried that even asking for it could give the other side the idea that I'm worried about this - like, if they aren't thinking they have a chance at suing me now maybe this would plant the notion in their heads, who knows.
    You're overthinking this. Don't sweat it. Once her insurance company pays it won't be "they" who sue. It will be strictly up to the driver and she'll know that her insurance has already found her at fault and isn't likely to bother. But, even if she does, there's nothing you can to to stop it and your insurance company will defend you.

    Quote Quoting lexla
    View Post

    Oh, and a related question is do I have the right to inquire about the injuries of the other party?
    No.

    Quote Quoting lexla
    View Post

    She filed a claim with her insurance so presumably they should be taking care of her medical expenses at this point if she has any?
    Probably, but not your business.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Can I Ask for a Mutual Release Agreement Before Settling Claim

    I started to respond to this post a number of times and there were interruptions.

    Thanks, I actually did forget that the other person's insurance company would not be the one suing, and that they would not be on their driver's side
    representing her. I guess I thought they would still have an interest in their insured being found not liable after all.

    Anyhow, since posting the other night, I've kind of gotten over it. It was a very straightforward collision and well documented. I just read too many
    horror stories about minor accidents turning into catastrophes - bump into the wrong person and end up in a legal nightmare.

    Thanks again for the response and information!

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    I'm a retired claim rep.
    There typically is no release to sign for a property damage settlement. You get your car fixed, you get your rental paid for, you are on your way.
    Yup, all I did was pick up my car and sign the check so that the auto body shop could get paid. Turns out I didn't need
    to sign off any further rights or a bunch of forms or anything like that as I was expecting.

    Thanks again!

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