Brief Introduction About Car Accident Settlement Agreement
When two parties are involved in a car accident, one of them is usually at fault. The injured party can take the defaulting party to court and ask for damages. In most cases, it is the defaulting party’s insurance company that has to pay. However, they can also settle this among themselves.
It can be done with a car accident settlement agreement. It is a legally binding contract between the parties involved in a car accident. It states that they will settle the claims arising from the accident between themselves without going to court. It also contains other terms such as compensation offered to the injured party for loss of work, medical expenses, and vehicle damage.
The willingness to settle is demonstrated by a car accident settlement agreement letter. It states the facts of the accident, liability of the other driver, and injuries and damage suffered. It lists the kind of damage and the corresponding monetary loss. The injured party sends it to the defaulting party, demanding payment of the loss.
Who Takes the Car Accident Settlement Agreement?
Car accident settlement agreement is a document between parties involved in an accident. It elucidates that the injured party is willing to settle out of court if the amount mentioned is paid by the defaulting party or the party at fault.
Purpose of a Car Accident Settlement Agreement Form
The main aim of this agreement is to arrive at a car accident settlement. It allows the parties to settle their issues without involving the court. A car accident claim, if taken to court, can take up to several months to resolve. It causes a loss of time and resources. To avoid complex legal proceedings, it is advisable to sign this agreement.
It signifies that the injured party will not pursue any claim regarding the accident after signing it. It provides the defaulting party with a release of liability from a car accident. So it is important to wait until your medical treatment is complete, and you have time to assess your condition. Only after you are aware of all your injuries should you sign this agreement.
Contents of a Car Accident Settlement Agreement
It generally contains the following important terms:
- Names of the parties
- The objective of the agreement
- Date, location and time of the accident
- Vehicle details: Vehicle registration number of each party, owner and driver of each vehicle
- A statement that there are no personal injuries or death involved
- Amount of settlement
- Waiver of claims
- Signature of the parties
How to Draft a Car Accident Settlement Agreement?
When drafting this agreement, it is important to write all the terms clearly to avoid confusion. The agreement must state that the parties intend to settle the matter between themselves. It must mention the amount of compensation and the time within which it has to be paid. This should be accompanied by a statement that the paying party is not admitting any liability. An important clause is the waiver of claims. It must state that the parties will not pursue any legal action regarding the accident in the future.
If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to keep a record of all the medical treatments that you receive. Once the entire treatment is over, prepare a list of injuries that you suffered and how much each of them cost you. Apart from medical injuries, you must include every other expense that you had to undertake with regard to the accident.
This includes damage to the car and its repair, damage to personal property that was in the car, and any other damage resulting from the accident. These damages that can be quantified are called special damages. There is another category of damages, called general damages, that is difficult to quantify. It includes any loss that you may have suffered because of the accident- such as loss of work, loss of enjoyment of life, or mental anguish.
It is also wise to have records of any complaints filed with the police. These records will help you arrive at a car accident injury settlement amount and negotiate with the other party. Usually, the insurance company will negotiate for the same. They will offer a minimum amount as the settlement. Thus, it is advisable to have an attorney with you to guide you through the process.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take
The settlement agreement will mention the time within which the amount has to be paid to the injured party. This period usually extends from twenty to thirty days. If it is not paid on time, interest can be added to the amount. Additionally. The injured party can leave the agreement and approach the court.
Benefits and Drawbacks of a Car Accident Settlement Agreement
- It avoids litigation, which is costly and time-consuming.
- It will certainly result in compensation to the injured party. A trial in court is uncertain where the defending party may win.
- Under this agreement, the defaulting party does not have to admit any liability for the accident. It is a private settlement, and the defending party does not get any public record for causing an accident.
The insurance company will usually offer the lowest amount to the injured party. In the absence of any legal guidance, the injured party may end up accepting the offer, which will be less than the amount he is entitled to.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
Though a settlement is final, if any party violates this agreement(1), then the other party can sue the other in court for trials.
A car accident settlement agreement is a binding document. It can affect the rights of the injured party. Though it can be drafted by the parties, it is wise to have an attorney to handle its negotiation and finalization.