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Should I sign the property damage release even though we haven't started on any of the pain and suffering.

Dallas, TX |

I am not going to be submitting any more claims for property damage under this claim in order for the adjuster to send me the rest of the property damage money he wants me to sign a property damage release form. I'm still being seen by my doctor's. I have done nothing regarding medical, that will be a huge medical claim demand made at a later date is there any reason I should hold off on signing the property release. I understand this letter simply just says that they're buying peace not admitting liability but I don't wanna sign anything to the contrary that they are liable because they are. I just don't want to risk the huge medical claim later that will be submitted.

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Attorney answers 4


Property damage claims in Texas are distinct and wholly separate from the Bodily Injury (BI) claims. Most of my clients settle their property damage claims while we continue working on the BI claim. Just make sure you have your Personal Injury attorney review any "property damage claim release" before you execute it.

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It's commonplace to go ahead and settle the property damage claim prior to your bodily injury claim. In fact, depending on the insurance company, there are generally two different adjusters you will deal with on each claim. Prior to signing the release, I recommend you consult with an attorney to determine if there are additional damages to your vehicle that you may not be aware of. For example, if the insurance company took two months to repair the vehicle, then you are entitled to "loss of use" for that time period. That's generally computed at the reasonable rental rate (somewhere around $35/day). That can add up to a significant amount if the insurance company delayed in repairing your car. You may also be entitled to a dimunition in value claim based on repairs to your vehicle. For example, if your car received $8000 in repairs, then it is obviously not worth what it was before the wreck. You are entitled to be compensated for the diminished value. If you sign a property damage release, then you are likely releasing any claim you may have stemming from the vehicle damage (ie. loss of use, diminished value, etc.)

You also may want to consider consulting with a lawyer regarding your bodily injury claim. I have seen many instances where the person is "trying to do the right thing" and the adjuster will be very very nice to them while they are treating. In the meantime, the adjuster has you sign broad medical authorizations and you give recorded statements regarding your injuries, earnings, etc. Then when it comes time to settle your claim, the adjuster will give you a very bad offer because she/he has been able to successfully limit your claim by guiding you into compromising your position. Often times, when someone waits until the end of the process and then desires to obtain representation from a lawyer they have compromised the case in such a way that it may be very difficult for the attorney to be able to assist you. Not saying this will happen to you, but I'm giving you fair warning the insurance company is looking out for their bottom line--not for you. Most personal injury attorneys will offer you a free initial consultation to discuss the property damage and your bodily injury claim. I would suggest you take advantage of this prior to signing any releases.


If you have a huge medical claim to submit, you should have an attorney handling this for you.

I will evaluate your case for free. I can also refer you to an attorney to help you if I cannot help you. Joyce J. Sweinberg, Esquire 215-752-3732 Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.


You big problem is that you have "done nothing regarding the medical". Get a lawyer quickly to handle this. Ask that lawyer all your questions.

There are a million issues and traps that you have to watch out for. I realize that everyone from the insurance company is being very nice to you right now but the quicker you get a lawyer the more money you will get.

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