Legal Question in Personal Injury in Florida

Verbal Agreements

My father was brain injured when a garbage truck hit him while he was in his car stopped at a light. After 6 years, there was a minimal monetary compensation that at first my dad agreed to. He has now changed his mind. He has signed nothing. He wants to go to court instead of settling. His attorney and the people who represent the garbage truck driver are taking him to court now to make him keep his verbal agreement. Can you give me some feedback on verbal agreements re:injury cases? My dad wants his day in court. He's had his brain drilled into since he got a subdural hematoma from the accident, he's suffered from blood clots and Pulmonary Embolism. He feels he has been wronged and decided to fight it. We want the judge to agree that there was nothing signed and let my dad fight it out in court. What can he claim? What other cases were there where the judge through it out and said ''verbal doesn't count''? Looking forward to some help. Thank you for your time.


Asked on 6/27/07, 12:55 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Scott R. Jay Law Offices of Scott R. Jay

Re: Verbal Agreements

NOTE: This communication is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, it is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles. You should not rely on or take action based on this communication without first presenting ALL relevant details to a competent attorney in your jurisdiction and then receiving the attorney's individualized advice for you. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you agree that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then stop right here, and do not read any further.

If the agreement was only verbal, it is not enforceable. Your father's attorney is hired as his advocate. If the attorney will not do as your dad wants or instructs, then it is time to part ways and find a new attorney. Tell your dad not to allow himself to be bullied into a settlement he is not happy with.

Scott R. Jay, Esq.

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Answered on 6/28/07, 12:05 am
Alan Wagner Wagner McLaughlin, P.A.

Re: Verbal Agreements

With due respect to Mr. Slater and Jay, they are just wrong about this. The courts enforce verbal settlement agreements all the time. The perhaps only exception to this is if the verbal agreement was made at a fiormal mediation. At a mediation an agreement to settle is onloy valid if it is writing. Outside of mediation, though, there is nothing wrong with a verbal settlement agreement.

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Answered on 6/28/07, 12:03 pm
David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Re: Verbal Agreements

He is not bound by a verbal agreement. He should retain a new attorney. Good luck.

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Answered on 6/27/07, 1:04 pm


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