Hi, I’m Roger Ghai and I handle a lot of automobile and truck accident cases in the Atlanta, Marietta, Kennesaw [inaudible 00:00:08] areas. At the conclusion of a case, sometimes a client will be asked by the insurance company, once we settle the case to sign a release and clients want to know exactly what legal obligations that imposes upon them if they’re asked by the insurance company to sign a release. Now, typically what happens is that as a plaintiff’s attorney, which I am, we will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, and they will agree to pay a certain amount of money to settle your claim based on your injuries and things of that nature. But in exchange, in exchange for giving you that money, they will require that you sign, what we call a release and a release basically says that you agree not to sue the other driver, because you’re getting the money and that the issue is completely resolved between you and the other driver who negligently caused the accident.
A little note about releases would be, there are two types of releases in Georgia. One of them is known as a general release and a general release just means that you get money, the policy limits, let’s say, for example, the other driver had $50,000 in coverage. Your claim was worth at least $50,000 or about $50,000. The insurance company agreed to pay the 50,000 and then you would not be able to pursue the driver or even try to collect against your own insurance company for additional money. Now, let’s say for example, that you have an injury that was worth a $100,000, and that you had uninsured motorist coverage of $50,000, and the other driver had $50,000. Then in that case, you would want to sign what we call a limited liability release, which means that you would get the $50,000 from the at-fault party as how much they had with their insurance company.
And then you’d be able to actually get another $50,000 if that’s what you had up to $50,000 from your own insurance company, even though your own insurance company didn’t really do anything, was negligent, but you’re paying extra premium for that, for that privilege to be able to go ahead and get that extra money from your insurance company. So if you have any questions about how releases work, whether you should sign them, what type of release you should sign, call my office, we have many years of experience in handling these types of cases and I can be reached at 770-792-1000.