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Car Accident Release of Liability Form (Settlement Agreement)

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Car Accident Release of Liability Form (Settlement Agreement)

Updated August 25, 2023

A car accident waiver and release of liability, also referred to as a “settlement agreement,” is a legally binding document that, when signed, guarantees that a settlement will be finalized outside of the legal system. When in a car accident involving two cars, there is the option to settle the damages and injury out of court. The purpose of the form is to make sure that the person who signs it will not sue the other party involved after the fact. Therefore, the goal of this form is to settle a dispute which arises from a small accident out of court.

Table of Contents

What Does This Form Cover?

  • Compensation for Loss of Work
  • Medical Expenses
  • Personal Hardship
  • Vehicle Damage

Main Purpose

A waiver and release form is a document that has the specific purpose of releasing both parties in an accident from legal responsibility. This form is especially important for the party that was at fault when the accident occurred, as once signed by both parties, they are no longer liable for damages or injuries. Normally, in order to obtain the releasor’s signature, the liable person in the accident is responsible for the damages out of their own pocket or by payment via their insurance company.

If an accident involves more than two cars, this form would need to include all cars involved in the accident, which can be a daunting task and it’s often why multiple-car-related accidents go through the legal system in order to be settled.  The more cars there are, the more complicated the legalities become.

The Basics

A Car Accident Waiver and Release Form is also referred to as a General Waiver or a Liability Release Form.

When constructed carefully, a release form of this kind will take into consideration the following:

  • It will name the Releasor, which is the person who signs away the legal right to sue the other party (the party who has the damage done).
  • It will name the Releasee, which is the person who is at risk of being sued within the legal system (the person responsible for the accident).
  • The Amount (consideration) in which the releasee is responsible for paying.
  • The Date and Time of when the accident occurred.

How Does a Car Accident Release Form Work? (5 steps)

  1. Collect Information After the Accident
  2. If the Victim is Injured
  3. Negotiating the Settlement
  4. Authorizing the Release
  5. Storing the Waiver Release

After a car accident, especially if one (1) of the drivers sustained an injury, the other driver and their insurance company may be liable to for vehicle and personal damages. This release allows for an agreement to be made between the accident victim and the other individual and their insurance company.

1. Collect Information After the Accident

two people inspecting damages on their cars after accident

After the accident, it’s best to obtain all the information about the accident victim and their vehicle. If the police were called, they should have images of the accident and along with an accident report. This will give an overview of the crash with the officer coming to a conclusion of who was at fault.

2. If the Victim is Injured

person holding back of neck in pain after accident

If the victim claims that they were injured in the crash, they will often ask for compensation to cover their medical bills, vehicle damage, and any missed time from employment due to their injury. In the cases of back or neck pain, this can keep an individual away from their job for a long period of time which can often lead to termination of one’s employment.

The first (1st) offer comes from the victim of the accident through a Car Accident Demand Letter. This is an official request for reimbursement of medical bills in addition to the pain and suffering during the event.

Therefore, it’s best to resolve and have an accident release authorized sooner than later so the victim cannot claim a long list of damages.

3. Negotiating the Settlement

parties of car accident shaking hands

In most cases, the insurance company will handle the dispute. Although, as the person who was involved in the car accident they will most likely be in constant communication giving updates to the case. On their insurer’s side, they will most likely run a background check to make sure the victim has never been involved with any insurance fraud (a common issue with car accidents is falsely claiming one is injured to receive payment) and conduct their own due diligence before coming to a settlement amount.

4. Authorizing the Release

party signing release of liability form

Once a settlement amount has been reached the parties will write a finalized form and authorize at a mutually agreed upon location. The insurance will usually provide the check, or settlement amount, along with the agreement ready to sign. Once the car accident waiver has been signed the victim will have no recourse or be able to come back at a later time and demand more money. Even if their conditions worsen over time.

5. Storing the Waiver Release

party reviewing signed release of liability form at home

Ensure that the release is stored in a safe place in the chance the victim decides to re-open the case. This release is not filed with any government agency, therefore, the document is required to be held by the parties involved if it’s ever needed to be shown to a public or private organization.

If the agreement is lost, in most cases, the insurance company will retain a copy.