Should You Sign A Confidentiality Agreement In Your Personal Injury Case?
In almost every kind of case, if you settle your case, the other side will want you to sign a confidentiality agreement. As the name implies, a confidentiality agreement is a provision in your larger settlement agreement that swears you to secrecy about the case.
Whether you should agree to one is something that you and your attorney should discuss, but it may help you to have a little background on what a confidentiality agreement is, and what it covers.
Types of Confidentiality Agreements
There are different kinds of confidentiality agreements. Some will ask that you keep the details of the settlement completely private. That means that you wouldn’t be able to disclose what you were paid, or the terms of the actual settlement between you and the other side.
Often, a side wants an even broader agreement that swears you to secrecy as to any fact related to your accident or lawsuit. This would mean that virtually every fact and allegation surrounding the case, must be kept completely secret.
The Extent of Secrecy
Regardless of scope, a confidentiality agreement requires that you agree to keep information privileged and private from anyone. That doesn’t just include keeping you from broadcasting the terms of the settlement to media outlets or on social media. It should be obvious that a confidentiality agreement would prohibit those kinds of communications.
But a confidentiality agreement can even prohibit you telling close family and friends about the information you promise to keep confidential. If you tell the kids around the dinner table about what the insurance company paid you, or you mention to your co-workers at work about what the insurance company said about your case, you are technically violating the terms of the settlement agreement.
Who Will Know?
In reality, if you just told people around you, and didn’t disclose the information publicly, there is a low chance that the other side would find out that you breached the confidentiality agreement. But they certainly could, and it does happen. Many settlement agreements will have a stiff penalty for violating the confidentiality agreement, so if you are caught, the insurance company defendant, or the party you just sued, may have a right to sue you.
Should You Sign One?
Whether you should sign a confidentiality agreement is up to you. Many accident victims or people trying to settle a case with an insurance company will take the confidentiality agreement, just out of a desire to get the case wrapped up—especially if the offer to settle the case is a favorable one.
Sometimes, you can negotiate a confidentiality agreement, to minimize it or eliminate it completely. But some insurance companies will sooner take your case to trial, than settle your case with no confidentiality agreement. What the insurance company or defendant will accept is something that varies from case to case.
Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help in your personal injury case.