The Injury Claim Process
Dangers of Early Settlement and Scheduled Releases
Always avoid early and premature injury claim settlements. Insurance companies love to settle potentially severe injury claims very early in the process. They will offer “scheduled releases” and other early payment opportunities that are typically a terrible mistake for the injury victim. Frankly, the scheduled release should be an illegal and unenforceable contract. However, many carriers use these.
A scheduled release is an offer to pay a small lump-sum payment immediately (typically in the range of $250.00 to $1,500.00) plus an agreement to independently pay for future medical care. The lump-sum cash amount typically depends on the severity of the accident and the potential severity of the injury. Insurance adjusters often imply that they are offering this money as a courtesy and they will ask the victim to sign the scheduled release, which contains the insurance carrier’s promise to pay up to a certain amount for medical expenses over a specified period of time. Never consider these agreements unless you are certain that you have no lasting injuries!
There are hidden dangers in these insurance contracts. Remember that a release is a contract and marks the end of your case. Settlements are final! Thus, do not forfeit your rights until you know you have been fairly compensated.