What is a Release in a Settlement?

Rutter Mills Law Firm

What is a Release in a Settlement?

Legal Info

When you settle a personal injury lawsuit, whether, with the insurance company or the at-fault party, you will be asked to sign a release agreement. It is a legal waiver of all claims related to the cause of action (the event that gave you the right to sue).

Signing a release is usually a condition for receiving a settlement, so you likely cannot receive payment without it. However, it constitutes a waiver of all claims related to the accident– even those claims you might not yet know about and damages that you might incur in the future. Because a release essentially gives up your right to sue, you should ask a personal injury lawyer to review it before you sign it.

What is included in a release?

A release will say that the parties agree that in exchange for receiving a settlement payment, the plaintiff will waive all claims related to the accident. It should include the details of the accident, including:

  • The names of the parties involved
  • The date and other identifying information for the accident
  • The type of damage or injury sustained
  • The amount of payment given in consideration for the release

Settlement agreements and releases may look like standard legalese, but there is often negotiation over the wording. Your personal injury attorney will be on the lookout for potential issues before you are bound to the contract.

What to look for in a release

Once you sign a release, your right to sue the other party– and potentially any other non-parties as well– ends.

Before signing, make sure all of your claims for compensation are accounted for. You may need to work with professionals who can calculate future losses, including medical treatment that you will likely need. Other professionals may be necessary to give educated estimates for your complete recovery if you are still suffering from your injury. If you incur greater losses after the settlement, you will have no way of collecting for them against the released party.

Your lawyer will also review the wording and determine whether you need to reserve the right to sue other potentially liable parties. If you discovered, for example, that a mechanical error partly caused your car accident, then your personal injury lawyer would consider including language in your release agreement that allows you to sue the carmaker.

Contact us at Rutter Mills for a free consultation

Insurance companies often pressure plaintiffs to sign release agreements quickly and for as little money as possible. Do not fall for this tactic; resist the pressure and instead discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.

If you were injured in Norfolk, in Virginia Beach, or a nearby community, call Rutter Mills to discuss your case for free. Our lawyers take personal injury seriously and are here to help you fight for full compensation for your losses.

Contact a Rutter Mills attorney to speak about your case today.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Years Helping Accident Victims


Convenient Offices

Our Team

Team members ready to help.


You don’t have to worry about the bills, just get healthy.

Dave Put His Trust in Us

Don’t Fall For The Insurance Company’s Games

Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

They enabled me to be happy in life again.

Get Back On Track

Protecting Your Future

Glenn’s car accident changed his life, but not permanently thanks to the help of his Rutter Mills attorney. When the insurance companies wouldn’t help him, our team fought back and won.

I knew I needed Rutter Mills.

Fighting For What's Right

Getting Justice

On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

They actually won my case 3 times!

Larena's Win

After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

Who Do You Trust With Your Family?

After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

Who Can You Turn To?

Referrals From Friends and Family

After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

They really care for you as a person. Words cannot describe what Rutter Mills did for me and for my case.

When You Need Someone In Your Corner

Don’t Go It Alone

When the insurance company tried to get Carol to sign paperwork after her car accident, she knew she needed a lawyer. Carol knew she needed Rutter Mills.

When I called Rutter Mills, I knew it was the right fit. They’re so interested in helping you get justice.

Getting The Justice You Deserve

When Mom Needs Strength

Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

There’s attorneys, then there’s Rutter Mills.

We're Here When The Unexpected Happens


A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

When you’ve got a serious injury, you need a serious lawyer. That’s why we chose Rutter Mills.

Motorcycle Accidents Change Everything

When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

Carol & Levon's Story

They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

Watch his 30 second testimonial video
Watch Glenn's 30 second story
Watch Dan's 30 second video
Watch Larena's 30 second story
Watch Jamaree's 30 second video
Watch Levon's 30 second video
Watch Ed's 30 second story
Watch Carl's 30 second video