Do I have to sign a property damage release form for the at-fault insurance to pay in full?

My car was hit while parked, but the driver provided me with his insurance info. The total costs of repair rental car exceed the CA state requirement of $5,000 by about 1.6K. So far the driver’s insurance has paid 3.9K, but are requesting I sign a property damage release form so they can pay their remaining 1.1k. However, the form states that I release the at fault driver, not just his insurance company from further claims on this accident. Is this standard procedure? Since my car was hit while parked, am I really required to give up my right to sue the driver for the remaining amount he’s not insured for?

Asked on December 5, 2018 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The driver's insurer's payments to you are voluntary, since you have not sued the driver yet and won--in the absence of a court jugment in your favor, any/all payments are voluntary. Therefore, they can ask you to sign the waiver in exchange for the money. You, in turn, can decide if you'd rather get the money now from the insurer while giving up the right to possibly sue for more, or if you'd rather sue the at-fault driver for everything you believe he may owe you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.