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Accident case brought to Small Claims and still asking to sign a waiver

by Jonathan

I got into an accident about 6 months ago, the resulting 4 car accident ended up with no one taking liability. We brought the last vehicle to small claims court and WON our case. The judgment was in my favor and the driver of the vehicle was ordered by the court to pay me for the damages.

The insurance agency since then contacted a lawyer type person to act as a middle person. Basically they wont give me the check until i fill the "satisfaction of judgment" for the court AND another form from their insurance company that basically releases them of all future liability.

Is it required of me to sign this form? Also what will happen if I don't? Isn't the person I sued still responsible to pay whether or not I sign the form from their insurance?

I don't mind signing the "satisfaction of judgment" from the court as I understand it's required, but the other form just seems "optional" to me.


Answer:


Hello Jonathan,

Good job on taking matters on your own hands. Sometimes this is the best and only solution, especially when insurance companies give you the run around (I was an adjuster and I can tell you we were train to give the run around).

A satisfaction of judgment must be sign in order for them to pay. It is required by them that this gets sign so they can show that they pay what the court required them to. The release of all future claims is not optional, but it really has no effect. What this form does is that in exchange of payment, you promise that you will not bring any other lawsuit for damages caused by this car accident against their client.

The reality is that you cannot anyway. Once you file a lawsuit and get a judgment, you cannot go back to court (unless it is an appeal, which you would only appeal if you did not win) because your claim for property damage and bodily injury is a "compulsory claims."

Basically this means that you must bring this claims together if the arise out of the same transaction or occurrence. If you don't bring them together, you cannot go back later and sue for more damages (I won the car damage, now I wan the back injury). This is known as Res Judicata (like double jeopardy but for civil cases).

Giving them a release for the judgment is achieving the same thing, they are just being extra careful.

Good Luck,


http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com

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