Recently, I met with an eighteen year old woman who had been injured in an auto accident on Hodges Boulevard on Jacksonville’s Southside. The collision resulted in serious damage to both cars. Within a few days of the accident, an adjuster from the insurance company for the at-fault driver visited her. At that time, her back was a little stiff and painful, but she had already improved some and expected to feel fine within a few days.
The insurance adjuster offered her what seemed to the young woman to be a generous offer of $1,500.00 to compensate her for her “trouble.” In exchange, the adjuster had the woman sign a general release, in which the woman gave away all rights to pursue the at-fault driver, or the insurer, for her injuries.
Well, you guessed it, the woman’s injuries did not get better. In fact, her pain worsened and her doctors were discussing the possiblity of surgery. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do. Releases obtained under such circumstances may be terrribly unfair but they are almost always enforceable.
I always tell clients injured in car accidents, that we will not know the value of their claim until they have completed their medical care. A few days after a car accident is no time to make such an important decision.
If you have questions about your rights following a car accident, or the enforceability of a release of personal injury claims signed shortly following an accident, please call our Jacksonville injury law firm for a free consultation.