If I’m working out a settlement and they do not ask me to sign a release for the first installment, do I forfeit any right to any other negotiations?

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If I’m working out a settlement and they do not ask me to sign a release for the first installment, do I forfeit any right to any other negotiations?

I am in the middle of working out a settlement with an airline company for discrimination and personal injury. Because it caused scarring, their lawyer sent me out a $1,500 check expedited so I can take care of the treatment but did not ask me to sign a release (she said she was not going to have me sign a release for it). I was advised not to take the money by some friends because it could be accepting it as a final payment. Since I am not signing a release, is it okay to accept the check?

Asked on April 7, 2012 under Personal Injury, Oklahoma

Answers:

Robert Slim / Robert C. Slim - Attorney at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to make sure that there is no language on the check (or contained in any letter that accompanied the check) that the check is being tendered as payment in full or as final settlement of all claims.  However, any amounts that they pay you now is a credit to any claim you may have.  For instance, if they pay you $1,500 and you go to trial, any amount the jury awards would be subject to a deduction for the $1,500 previously paid.


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