A signature always reveals a man’s character and sometimes even his name. Evan Esar (Humorist)
Although they should, people don’t seem to give the same weight to their signature that they used to. Today, most people give their signatures in a perfunctory and sometimes careless manner. Actually sitting down to take the time to read every agreement, every set of terms and conditions, and every contract we are asked to sign on a weekly or even daily basis would take too much time and inconvenience, after all. Here’s a piece of friendly advice for those being pressured to quickly give their signatures after an auto accident.
Don’t. Sign. Anything.
Recently a nice young man came into the offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert with a bit of a dilemma that illustrates why this mantra – Don’t. Sign. Anything. – is one you should adopt for yourself and your family. This young man, who we will, again, call Emilio, was involved in an accident when another driver ran a red light and caused damages to Emilio’s care and injury to Emilio.
Emilio’s lack of understanding of the weight of his signature cost Emilio potentially tens of thousands of dollars and kept him from being able to pursue the fullest compensation of medical bills and damages he deserved.
What’s our mantra? Don’t. Sign. Anything. Here’s what happened. The heading of the form Emilio signed simply read Injury Release with the immediate promise to pay $1000. However, in the details that followed, Emilio’s signature would mean that he agreed to release liability from any further compensation for the accident. Even though Emilio says he thought the $1000 was just the initial payment for damages, his signature at the bottom of that paper meant that he would not be eligible to receive compensation for any more of his medical bills or expenses even from his own insurance company.
The at fault driver’s insurance + Emilio’s own coverage would have been more than enough to compensate for the damages caused by the other driver. Was the insurance company’s tactic distasteful? Yes. Was it legal? Absolutely. Did the insurance company win that battle? Yep.
So the next time you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident and the insurance company representative (no matter how nice and helpful they seem) asks you to sign something, you tell them your attorney told you…
Don’t. Sign. Anything.
Then call the offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert right away. We want to help make sure that when you are in an accident of any kind, no matter who’s at fault, you and your family get the compensation and protection you deserve.