Accident Benefits: Think Hard Before You Sign

A recent case making its way through Ontario courts illustrates the importance of negotiating a good and fair settlement in an accident benefits claim – because you probably only have one chance to get it right.

In an accident case, a plaintiff negotiated a settlement via mediation. However, after the fact, she changed her mind and decided to rescind the agreement. The insurer naturally didn’t agree and went back to court to enforce the settlement they’d agreed to.

The judge examined the agreement, found nothing wrong with it and agreed with the insurance company. While anyone can sympathize with the idea of reconsidering an agreement, when it comes to legal situations, the fact is that they could go on forever without some kind of eventual limitation.

The Issues

There are exceptions to every rule. In the case of a mutually agreed upon and negotiated contract or settlement agreement, there are certain circumstances that render them unconscionable or even fraudulent.

  • Misstatement of material facts known to one party but not the other
  • Lack of legal authority
  • Lack of mental or legal capacity

There may be other reasons in certain circumstances such as misunderstanding due to ambiguous wording or illegible documentation.

Buyer’s remorse, however, doesn’t count among them.

Mediation Tips

When you’re going into mediation, it’s important to document everything that has happened along the way to a negotiated settlement.

  • Keep a copy of the minutes of each meeting and what was said.
  • Get a lawyer’s advice and a certificate of same – and make sure both sides agree.

Accident Benefit Settlements

Settlements and negotiations can be complicated and even where mediation is used, it’s important to have someone who’s in your corner so you get the advice that’s right for your situation. Let us help.

Contact Petrillo Law today by calling (905) 949-9433 for a free consultation with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer. We look forward to hearing from you.

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