ClaimClinic: Personal Injury Releases
In exchange for receiving settlement money, you will be asked to sign a Release. A Release is a form of legal contract where you release all claims against the at-fault person and their insurance company. There are generally two kinds of Releases – a General Release and a Limited Release.
You will need to consult with a lawyer if you have any questions concerning the Release the insurance company is asking you to sign.
A General Release releases the at-fault party named in the Release entirely. This kind of Release will forever bar you from recovering anything else from the at-fault driver or his/her insurance company.
A Limited Release releases the at-fault party from any personal liability, but keeps him liable to the extent there is other insurance available. A Limited Release is used when you are pursuing your claim with more then one insurance company, including pursuing your own UM coverage. A Limited Release allows the paying Insurer to know they are off the hook (released) but still gives you the right to pursue the at-fault driver for other insurance. If you settled your case against the at-fault driver for his/her policy limits, you should ALWAYS seek a Limited Release so you have the option of pursuing other funds.