Settlement Terms Are Important

A recent LinkedIn conversation about settlement terms raised an important issue. The topic — A defendant adds additional (and unacceptable) terms to a release document.

The issue is far too common. Here’s the scenario. The lawyers agree to settle an injury claim. Maybe the lawyers reached a settlement informally and confirmed it with letters or emails. Maybe the lawyers reached a settlement through mediation. Where that occurs, the mediator typically has the parties sign a short settlement memorandum with the basic terms. In both situations, the defendant paying money to a plaintiff will typically require a “general release” of the claims. And, the defense attorneys will prepare or provide this release when the settlement is paid. That’s fine. An injured plaintiff receiving compensation will certainly release or give up his/her claims upon payment.

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Subrogation. Reimbursement. What do these concepts mean for personal injury cases? At its most basic, these concepts mean your health insurance carrier (or government plan) has certain rights to be “paid back” if you win or settle your case. While it sounds simple, the issues can be complex. And, an understanding of the rules

In Alabama, if you are injured on the job then you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.  Each state has some form of workers’ compensation system.  As a result, the benefits provided to injured workers can vary from state to state.  Although some large employers are self-insured, most purchase insurance coverage to

I have now been involved in several prior legal seminars that were planned and hosted by the National Business Institute (NBI).  NBI offers continuing legal education courses in numerous states, including Alabama.

On one earlier occasion, NBI planned a seminar that brought together a number of distinguished Judges in North Alabama to provide practical advice. 

As I have previously written, it is essential that an attorney handling personal injury claims have a sound knowledge of reimbursement and subrogation issues.  Otherwise, the attorney will be ill-equipped to protect his injured client and maximize any recovery for that client.  Many issues and facts impact the rules applicable to each specific case. 

This morning, the workers’ compensation attorney Jon Gelman had an interesting note on his blog about a recent Medicare recovery case filed here in Alabama.  Essentially, the case involves the United States seeking to recover medical payments made by Medicare on behalf of several injured individuals.

The case raises an often misunderstood and complicated issue