Are Settlements Public Record?

If you’re considering filing a lawsuit in Florida, you may be wondering about the information that could become a public record. In particular, many Florida clients inquire about whether settlements are public records. The answer to this question comes down to a few different factors, including the type of case, Florida state law, and whether the plaintiff agrees to an out-of-court settlement. 

This article will cover the types of settlements that become public records in Florida. 

Settlements vs. Verdicts

First off, let’s clarify how settlements differ from legal verdicts. A settlement is a voluntary resolution that both parties agree to. Verdicts, on the other hand, are determined by a judge or jury during a court case. 

Legal verdicts often make headlines, while settlements are typically taken care of behind the scenes. Nonetheless, certain legal settlements become public records once they’ve been finalized. 

What Types of Injury Settlements Become Public Records in Florida?

Keep in mind that if your case goes to court, it will automatically become a public record. But, even if the settlement is made outside of court, it will become a public record if it’s a workers’ compensation case. Florida’s law considers workers’ compensation documents public records. The records will contain the settlement amount and various other details about the case. 

However, other insurance settlements, wrongful death settlements, and personal injury settlements made outside of court remain confidential. So, opting for an out-of-court settlement offers more privacy, keeping your personal details out of the public record. This type of settlement is also typically faster to resolve than a case that goes to trial. 

The experienced attorneys at Weldon & Rothman, PL can advise you on whether accepting a settlement or going to court is the right option for your case. Contact us today for a free case review