New York, NY asked in Personal Injury and Insurance Defense for New York

Q: Need advisement on legal documentation

settlement agreement questions

2 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
PREMIUM
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If you are already represented by an attorney you should speak with that attorney about the proposed settlement agreement. If you do not have an attorney, however, unless you are willing to pay an attorney by the hour, it is unlikely you are going to find one who is willing to review the settlement agreement for you. Generally speaking, a settlement agreement is a general release whereby, in exchange for money, the plaintiff / claimant releases the defendant from any and all claims he might have against it, both known and unknown. You cannot sign the settlement papers and then, years later, have a change of heart and look to rescind the agreement. Even if your physical condition gets worse (I'm assuming this arises out of a personal injury claim / lawsuit). Once it's signed, the case is over, forever.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
Answered

A: the other thing you have to watch for are "subrogation claims." Lets say it's a slip and fall. You settle. But your health insurance has a claim for the money they paid for your medical treatment. They can come after you! Likewise Medicare or any state assistance. So at least get the consult of an attorney before you sign. Some may agree to represent you based on what they get on top of what you got yourself. I have seen cases where people seem to have been offered what I would have been glad to get, so it's possible you are getting top dollar.

The other exception is if it's a car wreck, in which case you may have underinsured claims you need to protect.

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