What Do Effective Settlement Agreements After Accidents Look Like?
An historic $1.5 million settlement over a slip-and-fall accident at an elementary school points to just how important it is to have the right premises liability attorneys working by your side; attorneys who can help those responsible see that settling makes more sense due to the likelihood of protracted litigation and the potential for a very large jury award. Settlements like these typically allow those responsible to actually avert admitting liability, but, at the same time, can still mandate that those same actors put in safety measures in order to prevent a similar accident for someone else. Douglas & Douglas injury attorneys routinely and aggressively litigate against companies whose negligence cause often devastating slip-and-fall injuries. Many times these lawsuits resolve with a settlement and other times Douglas & Douglas trial attorneys present the case to a jury.
So what do these settlements typically look like? Below, we have described how a settlement agreement release of claims is structured:
Purpose, Details & Allegations
First and foremost, the purpose of the agreement is set forth as forever resolving and concluding any and all possible claims that the injured plaintiff might have filed against the defendant, as well as others potentially connected to the incident. It sets forth the plaintiff’s allegations, and where, when, and how they sustained their injuries. It also states that the party being sued denies liability for damages, injuries, and other expenses as a result of the incident, but agrees to enter into the agreement for various reasons (for example, because its insurance provider has advised it to do so in order to avoid the cost of litigation).
The parties then stipulate a list of what they agree upon, including but not limited to the following:
- That they have both been fully informed and have full knowledge of the terms and contents of the agreement;
- That they have received counsel and assistance of attorneys with respect to aspects of the agreement;
- That each part is authorized to sign the agreement;
- That it is understood and agreed upon by both parties that the agreement—and the payment provided—is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing, but rather, that the agreement is being entered into for x reasons, such as avoiding litigation;
- That any payment made pursuant to the agreement is made and accepted as a binding, complete, final, and full compromise of matters in dispute;
- The total sum that one party agrees to pay, including any potential Medicaid/Medicare liens involved, and that the parties agree that the payment constitutes adequate consideration for the settlement of all claims arising out of the incidents, where no further resource shall be available against the defendant/paying party (this typically includes sections titled “voluntary dismissal with prejudice,” “general release of all claims,” and “present and future consequences covered by release”); and
- A non-disparagement and confidentiality clause (in most cases).
Contact Our Florida Accident Attorneys Today to Find Out More
When property owners and operators fail to keep their premises safe for visitors, the results can be life-altering. Do not sign a settlement agreement or release without hiring an attorney. If you have been injured in an accident, contact our Jacksonville injury attorneys at Douglas & Douglas law firm today to find out how we can help you get back on your feet.