Should I sign a property damage release?

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Should I sign a property damage release?

My wife was hit in front by an 18-wheeler; the driver happen to miss his exit to the highway. He came to a stop and thought he should reverse on a 1-way street during morning rush time around 8 am. He hit my wife’s car and dragged it back about 15 to 20 feet. The police report states that the truck driver was at fault. I contacted the claim’s department from the company. They asked me for photos and 2 repair estimates. I did all that. The repairs run about $6,500. The company sent an appraiser to my home and they came in with an estimate of $4,900 and a property damage release form. Should I sign this form to get the estimate check and go on with my life?

Asked on June 12, 2013 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the difference between the full value of the accident and what you are being offered is only $1,600, then probably yes--you should sign the release and take the money. To get the extra $1,600, you'd have to go to court, which has its own costs (including of time); and trial is never certain, so you can't 100% count on winning, or even if you win, getting the full additional $1,600. Generally, going to trial over less than $2k is not a winning proposition.


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