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General Release

Can I sue if I previously signed a general release?

Generally speaking the answer is no. However, our law firm has previously succeeded in setting aside general releases and settlement documents that were signed without the benefit of an attorney. If you sustained serious injuries and signed a release, we can review the release along and the circumstances in which it was signed to determine if setting aside the release is possible. Contact us for a free legal consultation.

If you were hurt badly, you shouldn’t settle your case until you talk to a lawyer. Before accepting a settlement offer, it is very important to talk to an attorney about what needs to be done. All defendants and insurance companies will attempt to have you sign a release agreement, which is also called a “general release”. The release agreement is a contract that essentially states that a person who was hurt can’t sue anyone who is “released”. In exchange for the agreed-upon settlement amount, all claims are effectively dropped. Most of the time, the release agreement states that the person who was hurt can’t thereafter sue for injuries, whether they are known, unknown, or yet to be known. This can be very bad for someone who was hurt but doesn’t know how bad their injuries are at the time they sign the release agreement.

Talk to lawyer - Afonso Law Firm Elizabeth NJ - General Release
Talk to lawyer - Afonso Law Firm Elizabeth NJ - General Release

If you were hurt badly, you shouldn’t settle your case until you talk to a lawyer. Before accepting a settlement offer, it is very important to talk to an attorney about what needs to be done. All defendants and insurance companies will attempt to have you sign a release agreement, which is also called a “general release”. The release agreement is a contract that essentially states that a person who was hurt can’t sue anyone who is “released”. In exchange for the agreed-upon settlement amount, all claims are effectively dropped. Most of the time, the release agreement states that the person who was hurt can’t thereafter sue for injuries, whether they are known, unknown, or yet to be known. This can be very bad for someone who was hurt but doesn’t know how bad their injuries are at the time they sign the release agreement.

The release agreement is actually a contract that says the person who was hurt can’t sue the people who were released.

Personal Injury Lawyer - Afonso Law Firm Elizabeth NJ

It is very important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer look at how bad your injuries are. An injury lawyer with experience will be able to quickly gather all the paperwork and proof they need and negotiate with the other side, including any insurance carriers. Your lawyer will review your injuries, conduct research, and determine how to move forward with any settlement negotiations. If you don’t consult with an attorney, defendants and insurance carriers will likely seek to obtain a release for a low amount of compensation.

Release agreements always have language that says you can’t sue for any unexpected or future medical costs. This can be especially hard if you haven’t gotten the right medical care and don’t know what rehabilitation programs or medical procedures you need in the future. Most of the time, a person who has been hurt will incur significant costs for their future medical care. If you don’t include future medical costs in your settlement evaluation, you will likely have to pay for them on your own in the future.

Medical Costs - Afonso Law Firm General Release
Medical Costs - Afonso Law Firm General Release

Release agreements always have language that says you can’t sue for any unexpected or future medical costs. This can be especially hard if you haven’t gotten the right medical care and don’t know what rehabilitation programs or medical procedures you need in the future. Most of the time, a person who has been hurt will incur significant costs for their future medical care. If you don’t include future medical costs in your settlement evaluation, you will likely have to pay for them on your own in the future.

Personal Injuries - General Release Afonso Law Firm Elizabeth NJ

Never think that your injuries will heal quickly. Many injuries, like broken bones, soft tissue strains, cuts, head and spine injuries, will have long-term effects on your life that you might not realize right now. As the body ages and starts to break down, injuries that were once small or hard to notice may start to show up or get worse.

Defendants and their insurance companies hope that you won’t put enough value on your injury claim and will take their offer instead of getting advice from an expert.

When you sign a release agreement, you also give up the right to get money for pain and suffering in the future. If you were hurt and accepted a settlement offer, you couldn’t ask for more money in the future if your injuries got worse or lasted longer than expected. When figuring out how much a settlement is worth, a good lawyer always takes into account future pain and suffering. Because of this, a lot of insurance companies would rather you didn’t have a lawyer. These companies hope that you won’t put enough value on your injury claim and will take their offer instead of getting advice from an expert. In short, the insurance companies want to take advantage of your lack of experience and hope that you will settle your case for less money.

General Release - Afonso Law Firm Elizabeth NJ
General Release - Afonso Law Firm Elizabeth NJ

When you sign a release agreement, you also give up the right to get money for pain and suffering in the future. If you were hurt and accepted a settlement offer, you couldn’t ask for more money in the future if your injuries got worse or lasted longer than expected. When figuring out how much a settlement is worth, a good lawyer always takes into account future pain and suffering. Because of this, a lot of insurance companies would rather you didn’t have a lawyer. These companies hope that you won’t put enough value on your injury claim and will take their offer instead of getting advice from an expert. In short, the insurance companies want to take advantage of your lack of experience and hope that you will settle your case for less money.

See personal injury auto accident checklist

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