How do I protect myself from further liability and claims after a car accident that was my fault?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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How do I protect myself from further liability and claims after a car accident that was my fault?

I recently just got into a car accident that was my fault. The person I hit agreed to let me pay her privately without getting the insurance involved. Will a signed settlement cover me? If so, what should I put into the agreement? Can you give me a template/let me know where I can find one?

Asked on August 26, 2011 Washington


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You cannot truly waive much but unless you have counsel, you would need to research for the type of waiver you are looking for to cover you in this situation. Ultimately, this is going to be problematic because you will need to have her sign documentation stating she is accepting monies from you as a result of this motor vehicle accident and as a result of this accident the monies she accepts will be a full and fair and final settlement of this matter. She must waive any right to future claims for her motor vehicle and personal medical issues. If she doesn't sign, you should immediately contact your insurance provider and report the accident because if you don't, you may wind up completely waiving your right to be covered by the insurance company. If she has not called the police (police were not at the scene) and she did not need medical transport, you should be okay. Ultimately, however, the insurance company would consider this against your policy if it finds out. Do not risk cancellation of your policy.

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 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.

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