Releases are contractual and should at least contain the names of the parties, the settlement amount and the date and location of the accident.
Wording the release of liability for an auto accident requires legal language. Break down each component in simplified paragraphs so it's relatively easy to follow and understand.
Begin drafting the release with a title such as "Release of All Claims" or "General Release of Claims" in capital letters and in bold type.
Write in the dollar amount of the settlement in the first sentence, which is called the consideration for releasing the at-fault party.
Provide the name of the person who is accepting the money, called the "releasor"; after the dollar amount. The releasor must be at least 18 years old. The releasor discharges or releases the liable party. Include the releasor's heirs, executors and assigns as releasing parties.
Provide the name of the party who is paying a monetary sum, called the "releasee"; in the next sentence. The releasee is the at-fault driver and should include all owners of the at-fault vehicle. Word the release so it releases any and all past, present and future actions, including any other legal actions arising out of known or unknown injuries or death. Incorporating this language means the releasor may not make a later claim against the releasees arising out of the same auto accident.
Write the date of the auto accident and the accident location on the document.
Include a paragraph pertaining to the releasor's responsibility for any known or unknown liens, including health care, worker's compensation, Department of Public Welfare and Medicare. Word the release so that if a claim or lien is made against the released parties, the releasor will "indemnify and hold harmless" the released parties from any liens, charges, attorney's fees and court costs.
Consider including an exception that does not bar claims against medical providers for errors in medical treatment that arise from the auto accident.
Include language that this release of liability for an auto accident contains the entire agreement and is contractual.
Create a line for the releasor's handwritten signature and a place for the document to be notarized.
Consult an attorney for questions about how to draft a release for any legal action.
- signing of model release image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com