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  1. #1
    adrian is offline Junior Member
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    Release of liability in auto accident

    What is the name of your state? California

    Hello, I'm new to the forums. I was recently involved in a fender bender in a bank parking lot. The accident was only between two vehicles. Each of us think it's each other's fault. Becase neither of us are willing to take full responsibility for the accident and because the damages are minor and minimal, we both have simply agreed to take responsibility for fixing our own cars.

    Well leading up to this agreement, the negotiations and events that have transpired has me even more on the end of cautiousness. So I have bought and downloaded a general Release of Accident Claims. I'm trying to make sure that not only am I covered, but also that at a later time the other party doesn't try to sneak in a claim to my insurance company. I want to make sure that my insurance company is included along with myself.

    In the release form it states "**************.Releasor and Releasor's heirs, executors, administrators and personal representatives, release and forever discharge the 'Releasee' and Releasee's agents, servants, successors, heirs, executors, administrators and personal representatives, from all actions, any and all manner of claims, causes of action or suits, including but not limited to claims and suits for bodily injuries that Releasor....."

    Anywhere in there is my insurance company mentioned or included? I wasn't sure.

    Here's some modifications I made to the form....."Releasor and Releasor’s heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, release and forever discharge _________________________________ (“Releasee”) and Releasee’s agents, insurance companies, servants, successors, heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, from all actions, any and all manner of claims, demands for or by reason of any damage, causes of action or suits, including but not limited to claims and suits for bodily injuries that Releasor"

    I plan to have both of us each sign separate release forms, one form signed by me releasing the other party and one form signed by them releasing me of any liability.

    One more question, after the accident happened, I did call my insurance company and reported the accident, but have not filed the claim. I've told them that we plan to handle this on our own and I'm not planning to file a claim. At this point the claim is still open just from the phone call, but no claims have been made or processed. With that said, in the above words of the release, am I stating information correctly as the Releasor or because I have already made the call to my insurance company am I misrepresenting the information?

    Thanks for your help,

    Adrian
  2. #2
    garrula lingua is offline Senior Member
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    Check with DMV. I believe it's mandatory to report all accidents causing property damage over a certain amt (500 or 750 ?).

    Not reporting, (esp, when the other party did) can cause your DL to be suspended.


    If you do a release, be complete in your description: date, time, location of accident; the agreed dispo : each is not liable & each to take care of their own damages.
    Identify each party completely (DL#, address).

    I would also include the information (if true) that each party is insured and has exchanged ins info as required, but both have elected to resolve the issue by taking care of their separate expenses.

    Do not sign and give the other party your release, without receiving one from the other party at the same time.
  3. #3
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Unless you are actually planning on paying the expenses out of your own pocket, why don't you let the insurance companies do what you pay for. Let them figure out who should pay what.

    The insurance comapanies already have releases at the ready if it is the proper thing to do as well.

    Now be sure to heed G L's advice concerning reporting to the police/dmv. It could come back to bite you later if applicable.
  4. #4
    adrian is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrula lingua
    Check with DMV. I believe it's mandatory to report all accidents causing property damage over a certain amt (500 or 750 ?).

    Not reporting, (esp, when the other party did) can cause your DL to be suspended.


    If you do a release, be complete in your description: date, time, location of accident; the agreed dispo : each is not liable & each to take care of their own damages.
    Identify each party completely (DL#, address).

    I would also include the information (if true) that each party is insured and has exchanged ins info as required, but both have elected to resolve the issue by taking care of their separate expenses.

    Do not sign and give the other party your release, without receiving one from the other party at the same time.
    Thank for the advice. You know the more and more that I read this release that I put together, it sounds like the releasor is saying "although the releasee is at fault for the accident, I'm not going to sue him/her". With each of us signing the same type form separately as the releasor, we're both saying that each other is at fault.

    What do you think? I didn't want to post the whole release because I didn't know if it was ok to do so. I understand this forum is for free advice and I don't want to take advantage of these priviledges. I'm going to post the whole release and ask your thoughts, but if it's not ok to post the whole release, I apologize in advance.

    Following is the release
    ---------------------------------
    Release of Accident Claims

    The undersigned _________________________________ (“Releasor”) does hereby, for Releasor and Releasor’s heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, release and forever discharge _________________________________ (“Releasee”) and Releasee’s agents, insurance companies, servants, successors, heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, from all actions, any and all manner of claims, demands for or by reason of any damage, causes of action or suits, including but not limited to claims and suits for bodily injuries that Releasor had, might now have or that might subsequently accrue to Releasor by reason of, or in any way directly or indirectly, connected with, or arising out of the accident occurring on or about ___________________________ (date of accident) at _______________________________________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________ (location of accident) between the following two vehicles:

    Vehicle #1 (Releasor’s vehicle)
    Year________ Make_____________ Model_____________ VIN #__________________________
    Vehicle #2 (Releasee’s vehicle)
    Year________ Make_____________ Model_____________ VIN #__________________________

    For the same consideration, the Releasor further agrees not to make any claims or undertake any proceedings against the Releasee or any other person or entity which may claim contribution or indemnity under the provisions of any statute or otherwise.

    The Releasor agrees to take full financial responsibility for any and all repairs of damages to only Releasor’s vehicle and/or Releasor’s personal property caused by the accident stated herewith.

    Furthermore, the Releasor declares that he/she has not engaged into any actions, claims, demands, causes of action or suits, including but not limited to claims and suits for bodily injuries related to the aforementioned accident preceding the execution of this Release of Accident Claims.

    I hereby waive the provisions of section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which states:
    "A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor."

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Releasor has executed this Release on ___________________________
    (handwritten date by Releasor)

    _____________________________
    (Signature of Releasor)

    _____________________________
    (Print Name)

    _____________________________
    (Driver License Number of Releasor)

    _____________________________
    (Current Address)

    _____________________________
    (City, State, Zip)
    -------------------------------------End of Release

    Also, the other party claims they had insurance at the time, but it sounds a little sketchy. They said the car was new and the dealership is supposed to have supplied insurance on the car for approximately 30 days AND they also said that they had gotten a policy that day. My gut tells me that she didn't have any insurance on the car and line about having insurance with the dealership was BS. So I don't think it would work if I put in a statement saying that we were both insured and agree to pay for our own, etc. etc.

    All I'm looking to do is just put this to rest......she pay for hers and I pay for mine, regardless of fault or circumstances. I also don't want this to bite me in the butt later either. Because the damages were minimal, I really don't care that she didn't have insurance.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks very much in advance.

    Adrian
  5. #5
    adrian is offline Junior Member
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    Couple more things to add....

    Quote Originally Posted by adrian
    Thank for the advice. You know the more and more that I read this release that I put together, it sounds like the releasor is saying "although the releasee is at fault for the accident, I'm not going to sue him/her". With each of us signing the same type form separately as the releasor, we're both saying that each other is at fault.

    What do you think? I didn't want to post the whole release because I didn't know if it was ok to do so. I understand this forum is for free advice and I don't want to take advantage of these priviledges. I'm going to post the whole release and ask your thoughts, but if it's not ok to post the whole release, I apologize in advance.

    Following is the release
    ---------------------------------
    Release of Accident Claims

    The undersigned _________________________________ (“Releasor”) does hereby, for Releasor and Releasor’s heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, release and forever discharge _________________________________ (“Releasee”) and Releasee’s agents, insurance companies, servants, successors, heirs, executors, administrators, and personal representatives, from all actions, any and all manner of claims, demands for or by reason of any damage, causes of action or suits, including but not limited to claims and suits for bodily injuries that Releasor had, might now have or that might subsequently accrue to Releasor by reason of, or in any way directly or indirectly, connected with, or arising out of the accident occurring on or about ___________________________ (date of accident) at _______________________________________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________ (location of accident) between the following two vehicles:

    Vehicle #1 (Releasor’s vehicle)
    Year________ Make_____________ Model_____________ VIN #__________________________
    Vehicle #2 (Releasee’s vehicle)
    Year________ Make_____________ Model_____________ VIN #__________________________

    For the same consideration, the Releasor further agrees not to make any claims or undertake any proceedings against the Releasee or any other person or entity which may claim contribution or indemnity under the provisions of any statute or otherwise.

    The Releasor agrees to take full financial responsibility for any and all repairs of damages to only Releasor’s vehicle and/or Releasor’s personal property caused by the accident stated herewith.

    Furthermore, the Releasor declares that he/she has not engaged into any actions, claims, demands, causes of action or suits, including but not limited to claims and suits for bodily injuries related to the aforementioned accident preceding the execution of this Release of Accident Claims.

    I hereby waive the provisions of section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which states:
    "A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor."

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Releasor has executed this Release on ___________________________
    (handwritten date by Releasor)

    _____________________________
    (Signature of Releasor)

    _____________________________
    (Print Name)

    _____________________________
    (Driver License Number of Releasor)

    _____________________________
    (Current Address)

    _____________________________
    (City, State, Zip)
    -------------------------------------End of Release

    Also, the other party claims they had insurance at the time, but it sounds a little sketchy. They said the car was new and the dealership is supposed to have supplied insurance on the car for approximately 30 days AND they also said that they had gotten a policy that day. My gut tells me that she didn't have any insurance on the car and line about having insurance with the dealership was BS. So I don't think it would work if I put in a statement saying that we were both insured and agree to pay for our own, etc. etc.

    All I'm looking to do is just put this to rest......she pay for hers and I pay for mine, regardless of fault or circumstances. I also don't want this to bite me in the butt later either. Because the damages were minimal, I really don't care that she didn't have insurance.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks very much in advance.

    Adrian
    With saying "in reading the release more and more", my concern is that if the release is saying that each of us are accepting fault for the accident as releasee's (if that's the case), I don't want that to be held against me later on. I just worry about the other party later on coming back, referring to this release, and saying that in the release, that the releasor is recognizing the releasee is at fault or the releasee's admitting to fault for the accident.

    Should I use a form that is more of a "Release of Liability"?

    I know I may be overthinking this and/or worrying about it too much. But experience has taught me lessons that make me this way.

    Thanks again,

    Adrian
  6. #6
    adrian is offline Junior Member
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    We are planning to pay out of our own pockets....

    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman
    Unless you are actually planning on paying the expenses out of your own pocket, why don't you let the insurance companies do what you pay for. Let them figure out who should pay what.

    The insurance comapanies already have releases at the ready if it is the proper thing to do as well.

    Now be sure to heed G L's advice concerning reporting to the police/dmv. It could come back to bite you later if applicable.
    We have agreed to pay out of our own pockets for damages to our own vehicles.

    The police department said that if it's a minor accident with no injury and if both parties exchange information, they won't take a police report. They say also that a police report is not required is minor and no injury even if it's reported to the insurance companies.
  7. #7
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrian
    We have agreed to pay out of our own pockets for damages to our own vehicles.

    The police department said that if it's a minor accident with no injury and if both parties exchange information, they won't take a police report. They say also that a police report is not required is minor and no injury even if it's reported to the insurance companies.
    Sounds like you are good to go.

    I still think your insurance company would be more than glad to make sure the proper releases are signed, especially since the do have a vested interest in this situation.

    If one of you two do decide to sue the other, it would bring in the insurance companies anyway because of their responsibility to each of you.

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