Can one demand more money after cashing a settlement check?

My dog got out of our yard and went after another dog. Neither animal was injured, however the owner of the other dog claims to have fallen and now has tennis elbow from the fall. Witnesses say she did not fall, the only one to fall was my daughter who suffered a concussion. She demanded that I pay vet bills, medical bills, car detailing for transporting her dog who was dirty, and other bogus claims. I responded with a very detailed letter as to why I would not pay for anything other then vet and included a check. It was cashed and she now demands I pay for the rest and more. Am I liable?

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Cashing the check indicates that the other party has accepted it as a settlement.  Once a settlement is accepted, that ends the case.  A signed release is normally part of the settlement so that in exchange for receiving the settlement, the signed release means the party cannot sue on the same claim. Although the other party did not sign your letter as a release and there are requirements for a general release, the fact that the other party cashed the check indicates that she accepted the settlement and the case is over.  Since the check was cashed, you should not incur any further liability.


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