What to do if my car was totaled and my insurer wants me to sign release papers to give them my car but only then they will release a check to me?

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What to do if my car was totaled and my insurer wants me to sign release papers to give them my car but only then they will release a check to me?

If I sign that release form does that mean I am in agreement with everything they find as to who was at fault with the car accident?

Asked on January 8, 2016 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Signing the release before receiving the settlement check is standard operating procedure.
Signing the release means that you won't be able to file a lawsuit regarding the property damage to your car.  Whether or not you agree with the insurance company's findings of fault, etc. is not the issue here unless you plan on filing a lawsuit in the future regarding the property damage.  Since you have accepted the amount you are receiving for your car that was totaled, you are giving up your right to sue regarding the property damage by signing the release.
Signing the release for the property damage to your car is separate from a personal injury claim if you were injured in the accident.  Signing the release for the property damage does not prevent you from filing a lawsuit in the future regarding your personal injury claim.  A future settlement of a personal injury claim is a separate matter from the property damage settlement.
 


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