Legal Release: What is it, and how it will affect you?
In its simplest definition, a Legal Release is a form of legal agreement between two parties: the releasee and the releasor.
Signing it means that the releasor will not make any legal complaint and action against the releasee, in exchange for cash or some other compensation.
To get the full implication of what a legal release is, imagine that you’re driving on a chilly Sunday morning when suddenly your car got hit by another vehicle. Your car got wrecked, but fortunately, you’re okay— aside from a few minor wounds and a broken arm.
The driver at fault (and his insurer) might offer for a quick settlement by encouraging you to sign a legal release. He proposed that you sign it as a form of recompensation for you not to sue him.
(Note: In this example, the driver at fault is the releasee while you’re the releasor)
With a signed legal release, the driver at fault can settle down any legal obligations and free himself from the liabilities associated with the accident.
On hindsight, this is convenient because you would not be stressing yourself when you file for legal claims for personal injury and property damage.
- You would not spend money paying legal fees.
- You would not waste your time going to court.
- You would not be attending hearings.
In short, when you sign a legal release, it will quickly resolve the issue, right?
Before signing a legal release, bear these in mind:
Don’t be quick to sign
While it’s tempting to sign a release to resolve an issue instantly, it is not wise to immediately sign one. See to it that you thoroughly read and understand what it’s all about. Review the terms and condition and make sure that they are just and fair.
Some releasees could make an enticing proposition and will especially suggest an excellent offer to persuade you. However, don’t be swayed too easily. Be on guard!
Get a lawyer
If you have difficulty understanding the legal stuff about your current status, get a lawyer. A skilled lawyer can adequately address any concerns that you might have, and can also clarify the things that you are unsure about. Though hiring an attorney might seem obvious, most people don’t do this.
Get the consent of your insurance company
Why? Because of subrogation. Your car insurer shall utilize your legal right to go after the driver at fault, for them to obtain the cash return that they gave to you to cover your accident.
Suppose that you sign a legal release without the consent of your car insurance company, the right of your insurance company to legally pursue the driver at fault is now absent. Therefore, your insurance company can refuse to cover your underinsured motorist coverage claim.