Should I Sign Away My Rights? What You Need To Know About Global Releases In Sexual Assault Premises Liability Settlements
Enduring a sexual assault is one of the worst things that a person could experience in their lifetime. Although no one should have to go through the pain, injuries, and anguish that comes along with a sexual assault attack, there are options for justice in Texas. Under Texas sexual assault premises liability laws, a survivor of a sexual assault attack in Texas may be entitled to money damages for their injuries not only against the actual attacker, but also against the owner of the business or property where the attack occurred if they failed to maintain the business or property in a safe manner, and the attack was preventable with adequate safety measures in place. A sexual assault premises liability claim is filed in civil court, and is a separate action from any criminal case against the sexual assault perpetrator. As with any civil claim, sexual assault premises liability claims can be resolved either in court by court order, or can be settled out of court through the settlement process. When a settlement offer is on the table, typically it will be accompanied by a number of terms to be decided and agreed upon by the parties. One of those terms is typically a “global release” or “general release” that the survivor/plaintiff would have to agree to, in order for the defendant attacker, property owner, or business to pay the settlement amount. But what exactly is a “general release” and what does it mean? Should a sexual assault survivor sign their rights away?
General Releases and Consideration in Settlement Agreements
A general release, or sometimes called a “global release”, releases all claims that a person has, usually whether known or unknown, against a party or parties. A general release is typically part of the consideration for a settlement amount, meaning that it is something of value to the defendant attacker, business owner, or company that is being sued, and they are willing to pay for it as part of the settlement. A general or global release simply means that the person who is agreeing to it is barred from bringing any further claims against the specified parties for the specified period (usually up until the agreement is signed). Essentially, the individual or party agreeing to the general release gives up their claims at issue in the pending case, and any other claims that may be out there against the defendant or other parties, in exchange for the settlement payment. Ultimately, whether to accept a settlement payment and sign a general or global release depends on the facts and circumstances of the unique case, the expectations of the parties, and the reasonableness of the settlement amount and other material terms. A sexual assault survivor who has been presented with a settlement offer or paperwork with general or global release language should immediately get in touch with an experienced sexual assault premises liability lawyer.
Houston Sexual Assault Premises Liability Lawyer
If you are in the Houston area, the experienced Houston sexual assault premises liability lawyers at the Gilde Law Firm are here to help. The Gilde Law Firm offers a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help you get justice. Contact the Gilde Law Firm today and speak to a lawyer about your rights and options for free.