A landscape company did not follow appropriate safety procedures for coning off a lane they were trimming a tree into. A branch was cut and fell into my lane damaging the passenger side of my vehicle. I tore a muscle in my neck from tensing and swerving to avoid the branch.
A check was mailed, but I have not received compensation for the damages to my vehicle. And now for the bodily injury they’ve offered $500 along with the below to sign off on a settlement release. It is stating property in the below, but the amount for the property damage was not included. They are also saying I can not get any more money if I have issues in the future for the injury.
Should I sign this or not?
“For the sole consideration of: Five hundred dollars ($500.00) the undersigned hereby releases and forever discharges: _______ and all other persons, firms and corporations from all claims and demands, rights and causes of action of any kind of undersigned now has or hereafter may have on account of or in any way growing out of bodily injury resulting or to result from an occurrence which happened on or about 01/23/2018 and do hereby covenant to indemnify and save harmless the said party or parties from and against all claims and demands whatsoever on account of or in any way growing out of said occurrence or its results both to person and property.
This release expresses a full and complete SETTLEMENT of a liability claimed and denied, regardless of the adequacy of the above consideration, and the acceptance of this release shall not operate as an admission of liability on the part of anyone nor as an estoppel, waiver or bar with respect to any claim the party or parties release may have against the undersigned. Witness my hand and seal.”
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
The offer of $500 represents the pain and suffering caused by the accident. Absent medical bills incurred for the treatment of your neck injury, the insurance company is under no legal obligation to pay out any amount. While they won’t admit it, the $500 payout is considered a “nuisance” offering.
In other words, rather than having to spend time dealing with your claim, they would rather pay out some amount of money to close the claim and move on. This is typical and represents a standard operating procedure.
The Release they are asking you to sign is only for your bodily injury, and does not represent your property damage. However, before signing the Release be sure you have the name of the claims adjuster handling the property damage aspect of your claim, and the claim number.
Often, there are two claims adjusters handling car accident claims. One normally handles the bodily injury portion, and another handles the property damage portion. There may also be two claim numbers. Once you have the name and contact information of the adjuster handling your claim, you can move on to settling that portion of the claim.
Learn more here: Accepting the Settlement Offer
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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