Settlement Releases In Personal Injury Cases

Anytime a serious injury case is settled for a particular amount of money, the insurance company for the at fault third party involved will insist on a Release of all claims, not only against their insured responsible for the damages but also for the insurance company issuing the check on their behalf. This is standard as part of any serious injury or personal injury case whereby monies are paid as consideration for a settlement. In all such cases, counsel should be conferred with because the provisions of a Release can be extremely important when it comes to third party claims, medical liens, subrogation and other similar matters.
In a typical Release, the party receiving the settlement funds has to agree to release the paying party and the insured from all other claims regardless of what happens after the date of the settlement. Again, this is a standard provision of any settlement. Once the case is settled, the claim is over no matter what happens thereafter. In exchange for the money, the party receiving the money must completely release the third party and their insurance carrier and if necessary file a dismissal of any lawsuit that has been filed. Usually Releases provide for indemnification agreements whereby the party receiving the money must indemnify or hold harmless, the parties paying the money from any liens filed by third parties such as hospitals, medical providers or other third parties who may have some interest in the matter. Again, all such provisions are standard in personal injury cases but in some cases, they become more important than in others particularly where there are alleged claims of subrogation which must be considered. We will address subrogation concerns in a separate blog. Suffice it to say, however, that Release agreements must be carefully reviewed with counsel to make sure that the client’s interests are adequately protected.

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