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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Property Damage Release

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    Hello everyone,

    I am a new member here and I would like to thank all the helping members and the admin of this forum for their great work and service to fellow members.

    My wife went through an accident (other party is at fault) four weeks ago. There are both property damage (car got totalled) and also personal injury. First I am dealing with the property damage issue. The opposite party's insurance sent us the property release forms (after we agreed on the car value). I have following questions before we blindly sign the forms and send to them.

    1. Should we wait until we are ready to settle personal injury and then do both property damage and personal injury at the same time ? Or can I settle property damage independently of personal injury ?

    2. If I want to get the property damage settled first, I want to make sure I am not signing everything they send blindly. They sent the following documents for me to sign:
    (i) Bill of sale (it seems like a sale document from us to the insurance company and to be notarized as well)
    (ii) Property damage release - this has all sorts of legal wording on it that I want to be careful before signing. Just want to know is it normal. It has wording like "release, acquit and forever discharge from any and all claims, actions, causes of action, demands, rights, damages,costs, loss of service, expenses and compensation whatsoever ... It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim and that the payment is not be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the party .. said release intend merely to avoid litigation and buy peace. This document needs to be signed and notarized as well.
    (iii)Motor vehicle Power of Attorney/Odometer disclosure form
    (iv)Also asking us to enclose the vehicle's title

    3. Only after receiving the above documents they say they will send the cheque to me.

    So, is this procedure normal ? Is there anything I need to be worried about ? They paid for the rental car until we agreed on the price and they stopped paying after that. I have returned the rental car as I dont want to pay out of my pocket. I bought another equivalent car from a dealer and asked them to pay for it but they refused saying that they will only pay for what my car is worth. I tried to explain I just could not find exact same car but they are not budging saying they are liable only for what my car is worth.

    Personal injury is another story.. i need to do a research on that but just want to deal with car first. What a nightmare ... one to deal with the accident and another to deal with insurance company. Hope you guys are all safe on the road. Thanks for listening and many advance thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    This is totally normal. Just make sure the release specifies it is for property damage, and you are good to sign it. The injury claim is separate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009



    Thanks for the response.

    Yes, it clearly says on the top of the document that it is a "property damage release". But one of the things I am concerned about is due to the wording that this is a doubtful and disputed claim. Because I have an injury claim in the future, once I sign that this is a doubtful and disputed claim, they may have a leverage over us. The fact is cop gave a ticket to the other party and they are clearly at fault. This is the reason I am thinking is it better to wait and settle both property damage and injury at the same time.

    Only problem is I paid for the new car out of my pocket and I have to keep making payments until then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    There is no reason to wait, one has nothing to do with the other. The release is standard boilerplate legalese and you will get a very similar one when it's time to settle the BI claim.

  5. #5
    One bit of advice - don't rush the injury claim. It could take months if not a year or two. Keep the statute of limitations for your state in mind (as I'm sure someone will ding me on it if I don't mention it) but don't rush it. You don't know what long term affects the accident may have caused.

    From experience, my wife who was in a no-fault accident almost two years ago is just starting the settlement phase for the injury claim.

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