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Signing a Release of Claims Too Soon


What many people do, and they very much end up regretting doing so, is signing a release for an insurance company right after a motor vehicle collision. A lot of insurance companies for the people that cause a collision will come to you immediately and offer you money to end the case. It usually happens within a week to two weeks after the motor vehicle collision happened. At that point, a lot of people feel that they are a little sore, but they will get better. Obviously, it is nice to have money in your pocket. Therefore, they end up accepting the money and signing a release for all potential bodily injury claims that may occur as a result of the motor vehicle collision.

Unfortunately, what happens a lot of the time is those injuries do not go away. It turns out when your doctor does a more serious test such MRI, CT Scan, or some other type of testing, they find a very serious problem. It can involve anything up to surgery. When people hear that, they say they have no idea how hurt they were, and the insurance company should give them additional money for their injuries. Unfortunately, that is not the law in the State of Delaware.

If you knew you sustained an injury as a result of the motor vehicle collision, and you accept money, you are not allowed to go back after the person that struck you or their insurance company for additional money if it turns out the injury is more severe than you expected. The rationale the courts have used is, “you know you were injured”. Once you know you are injured and accept money, it is not the insurance company’s fault if you are more injured than you believe.

I realize a lot of people do not want to pay attorney’s fees in a motor vehicle case. However, I can honestly say in 35 years of doing this, I have never seen a person end up with less money by hiring an attorney. In very minor cases, it may only be a few dollars. In other cases, it can be a lot more money.

What I tell every client that walks through my door is you only have on body. Money is going to come and go. You need to do what is necessary to get the body healthy, but you are also entitled to fair compensation, no more, for what injuries you sustained. Until you feel better, or some doctor says you will not feel better, you do not know that answer.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware and Pennsylvania. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at 302-777-1000 for an appointment.