MustI sign a property damage release?

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MustI sign a property damage release?

I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on the freeway. The original estimate was for $1,800. Then it went up to $2,400, $5,100 and finally $6,300. I am cautious about the repair. The insurance company wants me to sign a property release but I refused. They hand delivered a check to the body shop (my name on the check) and stated that I have to pick up the car and return rental. They will not pay for it anymore. The body shop sent me a copy of the check and it’s basically a release written on the check for any/all claims. I don’t want to sign since I want the vehicle re-inspected and file a DV claim. I feel bullied.

Asked on June 9, 2011 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You never *have* to sign a release of any kind--though you may have to sign it  if you want the check, if they have made receiving the check or funds contingent upon signing the release. You always have the option of refusing the payment, not signing the release and then suing for what you think you are entitled to--either suing the other party, if you think you should get more, or suing your own insurer (if the insurer you're talking about is your own carrier, e.g. for collision coverage) if you think they aren't honoring their obligations. You should consult with an attorney with auto accident experience; bring all the documents, the check, evidence of the amount of damage, etc. and let the attorney help you determine what's in your best interest. Good luck.


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