It is really important to be extremely careful when you sign anything for an insurance company after a car accident. You do not want to sign any document that may affect your ability to recover under other insurance policies if you have not been fully compensated for your injuries. You must be extremely careful when settling your property damage claim and when settling with the at-fault driver’s insurer and attempting to preserve your ability to pursue recovery against your uninsured motorist policy.
Most people are rightfully concerned about getting their car repaired or replaced after a car accident. Most of us need our vehicles in order to get to and from work which is crucial to our ability to take care of our families. Many insurers attempt to take advantage of the urgency that many people have to regain transportation. Insurers can take advantage of you in the process of settling your property damage claim by failing to limit the scope of the property damage settlement or release. If you grant the insurance company a general release that is not properly limited to your property damage claim, you may release the insurance company and the at-fault party from responsibility for your injuries.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you are considering a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer, you need to be aware of the possibility of recovering against your uninsured motorist coverage. Many people do not even know that there is a possibility of recovering against their own insurance through their uninsured motorist or under-insured motorist policy. However, in order to preserve a claim against an uninsured motorist policy, you must obtain a limited liability release from the at-fault driver’s insurer:
In any instance where a claim arising out of a motor vehicle accident is covered by two or more insurance carriers, one such carrier may tender, and the claimant may accept, the limits of such policy; and, in the event of multiple claimants, the settling carrier may tender, and the claimants may accept, the limits of the policy pursuant to a written agreement between or among the claimants. Such claimant or claimants may execute a limited release applicable to the settling carrier and its insured based on injuries to such claimants including, without limitation, claims for loss of consortium or loss of services asserted by any person.
O.C.G.A. § 33-24-41.1.
If you are worried that you may fall into one of the insurance company’s traps after a car accident, call Hong & Sessions Law today for a free consultation. We can help protect your case.