Will cashing an insurer’s check affect a personal injury claim?

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Will cashing an insurer’s check affect a personal injury claim?

My son was in a car accident. The other person’s insurance who hit him sent us 2 checks – 1 for the towing fees I paid, 1 for the value of his car. If I cash these, will it excuse any personal injury settlement?

Asked on November 16, 2010 under Accident Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The main issue is, don't sign anything indicating that you are giving up your right to sue for personal injuries. As long as you don't waive your right to sue for those damages, you should be ok. Also, make sure it's clearly denominated, either on the checks or on accompanying paperwork or other correspondence what those payments are for, so they are only applied against the correct charges or damages. (i.e. even if you don't waive your right to sue, you don't want it to be the case that the insured or insurer can offset these checks, which are not for personal injuries, against any personal injury recovery). However, as long as it's clear what these payments are for--and also, again, that you are not waiving any right to sue for personal injuries--you should be fine. Make sure you read ALL paperwork closely.


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