Why are some personal injury settlements confidential? What is a confidentiality clause?

Confidential Settlement Agreement

confidential settlementSome personal injury or wrongful death resolutions and settlements come with a stipulation — the defendant wants a confidentiality clause included in the agreement that bars the plaintiff and their attorneys from publicly discussing the facts of the case and the resolution terms.

In many cases, one of the main motivations for including a confidentiality clause is to prevent evidence — such as witnesses or documents — from becoming accessible to future plaintiffs. This is an unfortunate strategy for the general public, yet most victims and their families agree to it in order to put the matter behind them, regardless of how it may affect future plaintiffs. 

Most high-level personal injury attorneys consider confidentiality clauses in resolution agreements to be a bad idea. However, when these clauses become necessary, it's important that the plaintiff's attorney have them written as carefully as possible to minimize any future risks.

Chris Davis
Attorney Chris Davis is the founder of Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S.