Question about payment

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Question about payment

My husband and I tore out sheetrock for
a woman. She failed to mention that the
house was full of black mold. My seven-
year-old son was exposed and now has
acute bronchitis because of it. Her
attorney sent us paperwork and a check
which is not near the amount that is
owed and said if we cash the check that
we agreed to the payment and it would
be payment in full. Is this legal? I’m
in Arkansas

Asked on May 5, 2017 under Personal Injury, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to send you a settlement check and statement that if you cash it, you are agreeing that this will be payment in full. That's what a settlement is: accepting less than the full amount you might otherwise get (e.g. if you sue and win) to resolve the case. You would do this because you decide that getting the money now, without the time, cost, and uncertainty (since no case is *ever* guaranteed; i.e. you could sue and lose, or  sue and get less than you think) is worth giving up money.
Of course, you don't have to accept their offer: you have the right to reject the offer, reject the check (cashing or depositing the check would constitute acceptance of the offer), and carry through with suing for the full amount you believe you are due. It is  your choice--so they can make this offer, and you can refuse it, if you want.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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