Settlement Agreements: The Basics

21If you’ve ever settled a personal injury claim, no doubt you signed a settlement agreement of some kind before you received a payment. The terms of a settlement agreement vary from case to case, but many provisions are included in virtually every agreement.

Amount

A personal injury settlement agreement includes the amount the liable party is paying the injured party and the deadline for the payment. Often, the liable party’s insurance company pays a claim a short time after the injured party signs the agreement. However, some settlements are structured so that payments are made over a period of months or years.

Release and Waiver

In the agreement, the injured party releases the liable party from further responsibility for his injuries and forever gives up his right to sue the liable party for damages related to the incident at hand.

Confidentiality

In many cases, the liable party also insists that the injured party keep the terms of the settlement confidential, believing that similarly injured individuals will make injury claims if word gets out about how much money an injury claim may be worth.

Advice of counsel

Many settlement agreements include a statement that the injured party has received the professional legal advice of an attorney or has decided not to consult an attorney and takes full responsibility for that decision. If someone who doesn’t have a lawyer accepts a settlement and later regrets that he did not insist on receiving more money, the liable party wants to make sure the settlement is binding.

A settlement agreement is a complex legal document. The lawyers at TorkLaw do everything possible to ensure that each agreement is fair and reflects the most appropriate settlement for each case.


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