Important Information You Need to Make a Wise Decision about a Personal Injury Non-Disclosure Agreement in New Jersey
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a contract between at least two parties who agree not to disclose certain confidential information shared between them. An NDA could prevent only one party from disclosing confidential information or the agreement may be mutual.
Before agreeing to sign an NDA in your personal injury case, it is wise to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can advise you about the pros and cons of signing. Cohen & Riechelson has accumulated over 50 years of experience in the realm of accidents and injury law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When you have questions and are faced with uncertainty after being injured, trust our law firm to provide the knowledgeable legal counsel you need. Call (609) 528-2596 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation with an attorney who can help today.
Use of Non-Disclosure Agreements in Personal Injury Claims
NDAs may be entered into when a personal injury claim is settled before a trial. It may be contained as a clause within the settlement agreement, or there may be a separate NDA that refers to the settlement agreement.
In the context of a personal injury case, an NDA will often prohibit both parties from disclosing any information about the terms of the settlement agreement and the details surrounding the accident itself. While there may be reasons that either party wishes to execute an NDA in an injury claim, an NDA will most often benefit the defendant.
If you’ve been affected by an accident and are in the settlement process, the defendant may urge you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Before granting this request, it is critical that you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Common Reasons why Defendants Request NDAs: Keeping Details of a Personal Injury Case out of the Public Eye
Depending on the details of the case, an NDA may be beneficial to a defendant if they wish to protect their reputation by keeping the details of the accident and settlement private. If the defendant was driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may wish to keep that information out of court where it would become public information.
If your claim is against a business, it may wish to protect its image and goodwill by keeping the details of the accident, particularly its negligence or wrongdoing, and how much it is paying you in a settlement of your claim confidential. Businesses commonly desire to maintain the confidentiality of personal injury claims to avoid the publicization of the matter and potentially inspire or encourage similar lawsuits from other parties.
Motivations for Injured Victims to Enter into Non-Disclosure Agreements
On the other hand, if you are an injured party, there may be reasons why it would be beneficial to ask the defendant to sign an NDA. Occasionally, the injury victim is the party who requests an NDA or may not object to the defendant’s request for their own reasons. If you suffered injuries and/or required treatment that you don’t want the public to know about, you may wish to sign a mutual NDA, wherein the defendant agrees not to disclose the information to a third party.
If, for any reason, you do not want the details of your accident to become public information because of how it happened, your involvement, where it happened, who you were with, or any other fact involved in the accident, you may wish to keep the information confidential in an NDA. You may also wish to keep the amount of your settlement a confidential matter either for security reasons, to avoid friends and family finding out how much money you received, or to avoid that financial information becoming public information for any other reason.
Considerations Before Signing an NDA in your Personal Injury Case
Incentives and Advantages that May Motivate You to Sign an NDA
If the defendant is very motivated to keep the matter out of the public’s view and wants to keep the accident and settlement details confidential, these desires may provide you with a significant advantage during negotiations. While you must still be able to support your damages with evidence, agreeing to sign an NDA may encourage the other party to agree to your settlement terms and speed up the resolution process. Through proper consideration, which is a legal term for an exchange of value, the defendant may incentivize you to sign the NDA.
Drawbacks that May Make You Refuse Signing an NDA
While each case is unique, there may be several reasons why an injured party does not wish to sign an NDA. It is important to consult with an attorney, so they can review the specific facts of your case and the language proposed in the NDA.
In some cases, signing an NDA may encourage the defendant’s behavior to continue. Particularly, if the defendant is a business owner who is seeking an NDA to protect their reputation, the agreement may lessen the defendant’s accountability in the situation. By signing an NDA, you prevent the public from being warned of the defendant’s behavior. There is certainly a high cost, reputationally and therefore financially, to the defendant if the case is public. For these reasons, an injured party may feel that justice is better served if they do not sign an NDA and agree to keep the accident and/or settlement confidential.
Enforceability of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) in New Jersey
In the context of a personal injury accident and settlement, NDAs are enforceable in New Jersey. There are some types of NDAs that are not enforceable in New Jersey, but they relate to matters of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
Consequences for Breaking Your NDA after a Settlement
If you violate an NDA after a settlement, you may be liable for breach of contract. The other party can file a lawsuit against you and may be able to collect monetary damages from you. The same applies if the defendant violates an NDA.
An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can Help You Determine if Signing an NDA is the Right Choice for your Case
If you have been injured in an accident and are involved in settlement negotiations of your claim, you may be asked by the defendant to sign an NDA. It is very important that you seek the advice of a solid personal injury lawyer before agreeing to sign. The specific details of your case will inform whether the decision to sign is the best choice for you. Furthermore, you should have a well-versed personal injury attorney review the language in the NDA to make sure it is advantageous to you.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson Today
No matter what type of injury claim you are involved in, whether it be a dog bite, slip and fall, premises liability action, car accident, motorcycle crash, or another accident that left you injured by someone else’s negligence, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) may be worth considering and understanding before deciding if it’s right for you. When you want experience in your corner, look no further than Cohen & Riechelson. Our injury attorneys have been assisting clients with obtaining financial recoveries in Ewing, Trenton, Somerset, Hopewell, Hamilton, Princeton, and throughout Burlington and Mercer County for half a century. With over 50 years of experience, we can offer the sound legal advice and skillful representation you require.