Q: Does accepting ins. settlement in car accident prevent suing in civil court?>
A: Yes. As a condition of issuing the settlement draft, the insurance carrier will require that you sign a release of the insured. The release prevents you from having a meritorious case because the defendant would successfully raise the defense of 'accord and satisfaction'. An exception would be if there were more than one party at fault in the accident, you could sue the party or parties that you did not release, but this is very rare.
A: Yes. If you accept money from an insurance company, you will be asked to fill out a "release" which will extinguish all of your rights. Please exert all caution when accepting the insurance company's offer, especially if you were in the car when it was involved in the accident, because car accident injuries can manifest over time, and insurance companies typically do their best to settle the claim as fast as they can. My suggestion would be that you get an attorney involved to assess your claims - you may be entitled to more than the insurance company wants to offer you. Let me know if you would like to discuss your options. Sorry this happened to you, and take care.
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