Cashing a settlement check that was made out to you when it was a work related accident.

My husband got into a car crash while on the clock and in his company car. The other insurance company sent him a settlement check, his company car insurance won’t respond with what to do.

Can we legally cash the check with no repercussions since the check is personally made out to him?

Asked on October 26, 2017 under Accident Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you cash a settlement check from the other driver's insurance company, there is a good chance that doing so will fully "settle" (as the term "settlement" means) any claims against the other driver; that is, you might not be able to sue the other driver for any more money or larger amounts. If the settlement represents about all you were thinking of seeking, or is enough that you'd give up any surplus to avoid having to sue--or if you weren't even thinking of suing in the first place--you can cash it: it's only effect would be to give up claims you are not interested in pursuing anyway.
If you think you may be entitled to more from the other side, bring a copy of the check and any correspondence that came with it, plus any police or accident reports, to a personal injury attorney to review with you: he or she can help you determine if you'd be giving up any rights by taking the check and also what your claim might be worth--and therefore, if you should cash the check or else seek more money or sue.

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