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Are Car Accident Settlements Public Record?

If you have been involved in a car accident, a question that may be running through your mind is whether or not car accident settlements are public record. The answer, generally speaking, is no. In rare exceptions, a judge may unseal or open a confidential settlement, but the confidentiality of a settlement is normally agreed upon by both parties.

Three facts about public records and car accident settlements are:

  • Public records are available to anyone. Public records are documents that are not confidential and are available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act of 1996. These documents are archived by the government in databases and provide information to anyone searching.
  • Car accident settlements are not public records. In general, car accident settlements are confidential documents that are not available to the public. The terms of confidentiality are agreed upon by both parties during the settlement, but in extreme circumstances a car accident settlement may become public record.
  • In rare cases, a judge may make a car accident settlement public record. The main instance where a judge can open a confidential settlement is when there is a possible threat to public safety. In this circumstance, a judge may rule to unseal or open a confidential car accident settlement.

Understanding the facts regarding public records and car accident settlements can help you stay informed. If you have been involved in a car accident, our experienced Detroit car accident attorneys at Goodman Acker P.C. can represent you throughout the process. Our firm possesses more than 75 years of experience and can answer your questions along the way to seek a beneficial outcome.

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