Expertly Reviewed By: Serah Waweru, Esq., on April 12, 2023
There are various ways to obtain the information to determine if someone received a personal injury settlement from a legal case. While settlements may sometimes be confidential, there are public records and other sources that can shed light on the case’s outcome. This article outlines five ways to find out if someone received a settlement and factors that may impact the accessibility of this information.
How to Find Out If Someone Got a Personal Injury Settlement
If you want to find out if someone received a settlement, here are some steps you can take:
Option 1: Check Public Records
Settlements may be recorded in public records, such as court documents generally available online or at the courthouse. You can search for the plaintiff’s or defendant’s name in the case to determine whether there was a settlement agreement.
Option 2: Search News Articles
If the settlement was high-profile or newsworthy, it may have been reported on by local or national news outlets. A quick search on the internet will reveal everything you need to know about the case, including whether the plaintiff received a settlement.
Rapper Flo Rida’s lawsuit against energy drink maker Celcius resulted in an $82.6 million verdict. That’s an example of a case that made headlines.
Option 3: Ask the Person Directly
If you know them personally, you may want to ask them directly if they received the settlement. However, there’s no guarantee they will disclose this information.
Option 4: Contact the Defendant’s Insurance Company
If the settlement was related to an insurance claim, you can contact the defendant’s insurance company and inquire about the settlement. However, depending on their policies, settlement terms, and other applicable laws, they may not be willing to discuss the case with you.
Option 5: Hire a Private Investigator
If you cannot find the information you seek through public records or other means, you could hire a private investigator to search on your behalf. However, it’s important to note that settlements are often confidential, so even if you follow these steps, you may be unable to find out if someone received one.
Are Out of Court Settlements Confidential?
The confidentiality of an out-of-court settlement depends on the terms of the settlement agreement. Parties can agree to keep the settlement details confidential, meaning the settlement amount and terms will not be publicly disclosed. However, some settlements may be made public through court records or other means. Even if the settlement is confidential, it’s worth noting that the fact that a settlement was reached can still be disclosed.
Keep in mind that over 95 percent of personal injury cases settle out of court. This is partly because most parties, especially big companies, being sued would rather keep the lawsuit out of the public’s eye. In other words, such lawsuits could bring bad publicity, something most defendants would rather avoid.
Are In-Court Settlements Confidential?
In-court settlements are public records and not typically confidential. This means the settlement details, including the terms and amount, are available to the public. However, there may be circumstances where the judge orders the settlement to be sealed to protect sensitive information.