Document Signing: Tips From A Car Insurance Attorney
You’ve been in an accident and your car insurance attorney might not be around in Houston. A representative from the insurance company might visit you after you got in an accident and request you to sign several forms. While it may appear harmless, you should be aware of what you are signing for. As to whether or not you should sign a document from whatever insurance company presents to you. And especially, you need a lawyer for car insurance claims to help you.
If they were at fault, an insurance company may approach you and say, “Oh, I just want to take care of your medical bills. Let me give you some money for your medical bills, and you can go see the doctor and check yourself out. I’m going to give you some money (usually a small amount), and a document to sign, and you sign it, and I give you the check.”
What you should be aware of is that auto insurance companies are not your friend. They want to resolve any of the accident claims quickly by offering you pennies to a dollar. Without talking to an attorney for car insurance claims is a red flag. They are trying to trick you into signing off your right to fair and proper compensation.
Falling into their Trap (without the help of a Car Insurance Attorney in Houston)
You assume everything is fine at this point, but you’re later feeling the after-effects of the incident. Feeling it more severe than you expect, and you’d like to file a claim against the other person. A lot of times clients go after the other party and show me that they signed a document to get some money for their medical bills. Unfortunately, the document they were signing on was a release. Signing a release means you are giving any rights to seek extra damages from the at-fault party.
The insurance companies will not tell you about the document because they want you to sign the release. So you won’t be able to sue them or their client for more money. They get you to sign this paper, which they then use to defend themselves against any further claims.
Following a car accident, don’t sign anything unless you fully understand what you’re signing or have a car insurance attorney examine it. Also, don’t sign anything unless you read it first and thoroughly comprehend what you’re signing.
What type of documents do insurance companies want you to sign?
Knowing what type of documents insurance companies would want you to sign, you can be more alert and aware of these documents. They could use it to trick you into not pursuing a valid claim against their clients.
Medical Record Release
A medical record release form is to request a patient’s medical records from a health care provider. Signing this form would give the insurance company or anyone access to your medical information on you.
Why would an insurance company want to know about your medical records? Well, they want to be able to understand the extent of your injuries so they know how to handle them. For example, when they receive a preliminary medical record, they may use it to compute a settlement offer to cover their medical bills.
The problem with this is that your initial medical bills may not show the final computation for the medical treatments that you need. There are many instances that injuries manifest slower or later and would not be accounted for in your initial medical records.
A better strategy is to present all your medical records once you’re ready to work on your car accident claims. That way the insurance coverage that is due to you can be computed with all the relevant medical information.
Property Damage Release
Another type of document that insurance companies would want you to sign off on is a property damage release. This type of release form lets an insurance company finalize the claims process after a car accident.
Signing this type of release form, without consulting a car accident lawyer, would lessen your chance of getting paid fairly. In doing so, you are agreeing to the amount they gave you. This means you would no longer pursue any other legal action against them or their client.
Signing this release is tantamount to entering into a contract that is legally binding. This means whatever is written in the document can be held up in court. So, if the document states that you have signed away your rights to take on further legal action. So even if you wanted to in the near future, you are no longer capable of doing so.
Again, insurance representatives would want you to sign this document without consulting a lawyer for auto insurance claims. It’ll be best for them that you sign without having to nitpick or examine the whole document including the fine print.
Car Accident Waiver / Release Liability Form
A waiver or release liability form is to show that two or more parties have an agreement that they cannot hold the other legally responsible. In this case, this type of form will release a party from being legally responsible for a car accident.
This is a crucial document that either the insurance company or the other parties’ lawyer would want you to sign. Again, similar to the property damage release form, this stops you from pursuing any legal action against the other party.
What if I was Tricked into Signing a Release Document?
Immediately after an accident, an insurance representative may want to get you to sign the release. It would be easier for you to sign a document due to confusion from the recent incident. Most often, they can trick you into signing when you’re not in the right mental state.
One thing that you should also be aware of is that you have to have the mental capacity to sign legal documents. If you signed those documents without fully understanding the whole document. You can ask the help of your car accident attorney to argue the validity of the documents.
However, please note that it falls on you and your car insurance attorney to prove that you do not have the mental capacity required to understand the documents that you signed. It’s not going to be an easy task so the best tip is to not sign anything until you’ve had a consultation with your personal injury lawyer.
Get the Help From a Car Insurance Attorney in Houston
Never sign a document unless a competent accident lawyer has already made their evaluation. You may be giving up essential legal rights without even recognizing them.
You should gently refuse to sign the report if the owner or other party insists on it. Fill out the accident report without signing it and request a copy so you can check it with a lawyer before signing it. Retain an attorney as soon as possible for guidance on your future steps and to help you negotiate a settlement with an insurance company.
Insurance adjusters are taught to deal with car accident victims in order to avoid costly large payments. They will seek to convince you to sign consent documents and make a recorded statement at the beginning of an accident injury claim.
How can a Car Insurance Attorney in Houston Help me?
An experienced car insurance attorney in Houston would be able to guide and advise you on what document you need to be aware of. Your car accident lawyer would have the knowledge and foresight to check on any document’s fine print. In order to lessen the possibility of you being tricked by anyone.
If you or one of your family members were involved in a car accident, talk to Atty. Roxell Richards at 713-974-0388. Contact our very own personal injury attorney in Houston, TX. With over 15 years of experience dealing with insurance companies for car accidents. We at Roxell Richards Injury Law Firm have the right mindset to help you.
Call today and get a free consultation so you know what your legal options are. You don’t have to worry about legal fees. This personal injury law firm works on a contingency basis. You don’t need to pay unless we win your case!