WA state personal injury settlement question.
To sign Release and Hold Harmless agreements by plaintiff is common practice in personal injury settlements?
do all plaintiff sign them ? or we should not sign any of those documents? I read somewhere we should not sign hold harmless agreement as it is not unethical.
Please advice ...our lawyer asked us where it is accepted for us to sign it?...instead advising us on what to do...
It is a standard condition to receiving settlement proceeds in Washington State and virtually all jurisdictions. If you want the settlement check, you need to sign the release and hold harmless. However, as the specific terms of the documents can vary, you should rely on your attorney to review them to ensure you are not agreeing to anything beyond what at is necessary for the settlement.
Without seeing the content of the document, it is doubtful that any attorney will advise you on whether or not to sign. However, Release and Hold Harmless agreements are fairly common at the conclusion of a PI case. The purpose is generally to release the defendant from any future litigation or responsibility for damages should conditions not known at the time of settlement arise. In other words, the company wouldn't have to pay for a any complication of an injury. Your attorney should be able to advise you whether you should sign the agreement. In many instances, a defendant will not settle if the agreement is not signed.
Yes, all insurers require claimants to sign release and hold harmless agreements to effectuate settlement. These documents insulate their insured from further liability as it relates to the subject collision. However, different insurers can try to inject different language into releases that may not be bargained for. Duties to defend and indemnify should be scrutinized with an attorney, as should any confidentiality provisions. In fact, it would be prudent for you to review the entire language of the release and hold harmless agreement with an attorney; this will help to ensure the insurer is not overreaching.
It is absolutely common to sign releases and hold harmless agreements. The insurance company will not release the funds without receiving both of those documents signed. The terms within those documents can be disputed by your attorney, and they should have looked both documents over and advised you in their professional opinion whether or not you should sign them and settle your claim.
I am sorry, but your writing is a bit confusing. Since you have an attorney, I suggest that you sit down, face-to-face, with your attorney and read through the release and ask your attorney to explain everything that you do not understand. If you do not agree to a term of the release, ask your attorney to try to modify it. It is your attorney's job to help work out the final terms of any settlement.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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