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Auto Insurance Claims/It doesn't make much since


Hi Jane,
In 1989, my mother, brother and I were all in an accident with a Lumber Truck. As a result of this accident, it render my mother disabled, my brother had a broken ankle and I was cut up in the face by glass. The case lasted for a few years and eventually went to trial. Subsequent to this, the jury came back with a no. Shortly after the trial, my mothers attorney came to her with a document to release all future claims and advised her that it was best if she signed the form. She never paid court cost, and after experiencing a long five years of frustration, she didn't question her attorney and signed the form. I would also like to add, the attorney did not appeal or explain to her why she was signing the form. At the time of the accident, I was only 2 years old, but I am a current law student and thought it would be interesting to review the court docket from the case for the first time. After noticing there was a judgement and no appeal, I was quickly alarmed. I couldn't understand why she would be advised to sign a Release of all future claims if there was a no in open court and she received no money. It is to my understanding that this form is only presented when the insurance company is making a settlement offer. Considering my mother received nothing, this brings me to my question. Is it common for insurance companies to have request a signature on these forms without a settlement offer and do insurance companies ever make settlement offers after a judgment has been made by the courts in favor of the insurer?

Mr. S

 Dear Mr. S,

Unfortunately you are asking me a legal question, not an insurance question.  Yes, there was an insurance company involved, but all of this was done in the course of litigation.  If you have not already done so, or if possible, why not contact the original attorney or his firm?

As a general rule, and speaking only as an insurance professional, I have never seen an instance like this.  You are correct, insurance companies require releases for settlement purposes. To do otherwise, in my experience would be uncommon if not unheard of.  Make a settlement after a zero judgment?  Never have I heard of that.

Again, however, I do not have any details, nor am I an attorney.  Perhaps the docket would give you further clues.  And perhaps you would be well advised to speak to an attorney to clarify.

I wish you well.

Jane Pytel

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Jane Pytel


I can answer questions related to auto accidents, auto damage, auto theft claims, or personal injury claims. I am specifically suited to answer questions concerning insurance investigations and the effects of those investigations such as claim delays, claim denials, examinations under oath, or the special investigations unit. I can answer most any question that relates to proper claims investigations, or claims handling procedures and processes. I have authored several ebooks which provide claim guidance for consumers. Those books are available on Amazon Kindle: Power To Profit - will provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome the patterned obstacles that insurance companies will use to delay, devalue, or deny your valid insurance claim. The No Nonsense Guide to Accident Settlement - Teaches you how to manage your claim, how to identify the precise tactics likely to be used against you, and how you must respond.


12 years of experience with 3 major insurance companies. I hold an all lines adjusters license in Florida. I am well versed in claims handling, claims investigations, and industry standards related to both. The bulk of my experience stems from my 10 years as a police officer / detective. Building on that investigative experience, I became an SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Investigator. Accordingly, my unique expertise lies in the investigation of claims. What is necessary and related, what is not necessary and related? What constitutes a fair claims investigation? What recourse is available for consumers who suspect they are experiencing unfair claims delays? During the course of my experience, I became a certified trainer, instructing adjusters and investigators proper techniques for claims investigation and claims handling.

B.A., Communications, University of Miami 350 credit hours of intense investigative training, Miami Dade Police 80 hours of investigative training, various Federal Agencies, Miami, Fl Intensive Accident Reconstruction and Pedestrian Injury Analysis, NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, Oklahoma City, OK 2 weeks Auto Damage Appraisal, Winston Salem, NC Legal Principles Claim Specialist, AEI

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