Accident Victims Mistakenly Sign Release, Unable to Claim Damages

Hollywood, Florida man and woman hit by car while riding scooter

A young man and woman from Hollywood, Florida were hit by a car while riding their scooter. The young woman was driving the scooter and the man was the rear passenger. They were crossing an intersection with the right-of-way when the Defendant ran a stop sign and stopped in the middle of the intersection. Unfortunately, the young woman could not stop her scooter in time and could not maneuver around the Defendant’s vehicle. The scooter struck the Defendant’s vehicle on the passenger side, causing both the young man and woman to be ejected from the scooter. Both of them struck the vehicle first and then struck the ground. They both suffered severe abrasions to their arms, back and legs.

Young man and woman rushed to the hospital after scooter accident

The young man and woman were both rushed to the hospital from the scene with what appeared to be severe abrasions. It was not until they arrived at the hospital and were seen by the ER physicians that further testing was conducted. X-rays and MRIs revealed that the young woman had suffered a fractured patella of the right knee. The young man suffered a fractured right leg. Both of them were later discharged from the hospital on crutches and in severe pain. They had no clue how they would be able to afford the additional medical attention they would need. They returned to the scene of the accident to find that their scooter had been completely destroyed. It was not recognizable any longer and appeared to be beyond repair. Confused and concerned, they called the police department to request a report.

Hollywood scooter accident victims contact the police

The young man and woman contacted the police and requested a report but they were told that the report was not ready yet. They were told to check back in a few days when the report was expected to be ready. They were given a card with a case number written on it and were told to use that case number in order to request the report. Because they were in extreme pain and were not getting any answers to their questions, they hired the attorneys at the law office of Dell and Schaefer.

Attorneys Dell and Schaefer investigate the claim

Our attorneys immediately contact the police department and formally requested the police report. We received the report within a few days and were extremely concerned with what we found. The report contained no information other than the names and addresses of our clients. There was no information regarding the at-fault driver and no information that would be helpful in determining how this accident happened or who caused this accident. Our attorneys contacted the police department and spoke with the arriving officer. The officer informed us that the accident was “settled on the scene” and therefore, he did not feel the need to identify the driver of the at-fault vehicle. Baffled, our attorneys inquired as to exactly what “settled on scene” meant. The officer stated that our clients signed a release on the scene and therefore, they settled their claim with the Defendant.

Scooter accident victims signed release

Apparently, the young man and woman agreed to settle their claim with the Defendant driver prior to contacting Dell and Schaefer. The Defendant driver apparently visited the young man and woman after they were discharged from the hospital and offered them a new scooter in exchange for a signed release. The young man and woman foolishly signed this release and accepted the scooter. They later claimed that the scooter was stolen from them, and because this scooter was not registered in their name, they could effectively report the scooter as stolen. It was unclear to our attorneys whether the young man and woman were being truthful.

Scooter accident victims make huge mistake by signing release

Because there was no way to identify the Defendant driver and because there appeared to have been a release signed by our clients, our attorneys could not help the young man and woman in any way. We were forced to discontinue our representation of the young man and woman due to a combination of shoddy police work and what appeared to be the improper signing of a release. The young man and woman learned a valuable lesson that day: Never sign a release without seeking legal representation first. An experienced personal injury lawyer would never allow for the signing of a release without just compensation first.

Beware of signing legal documents without legal advice

If anyone approaches you with a release after an accident, do not sign it. Seek a Florida Bar approved personal injury lawyer such as the lawyers from Dell and Schaefer. With over 30 years of personal injury experience, our lawyers know all the tricks of shady insurance companies and defendant drivers. Our attorneys are always concerned with protecting the rights of our clients. We place our clients first in every situation and would never allow our clients to make a poor decision such as signing a release without just compensation.

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