Any trial is a public appearance even if it is not televised. Many trials are written about by journalists in newspapers. So, if you have recently won a settlement from a car accident, you may be wondering if it will appear in a public record. Well, you can rest assured that it will not appear in a public record, at least not in California. Any personal injury lawyer in Placentia, could tell you that.
Access to a public record in California
Public injury lawyers know that almost anyone can access public records in California (and anywhere else in the nation.) The Freedom of Information Act of 1996 made this possible. These tend to be stored in large computerized databases. Though you can access them on your computer, you may still have to visit a courthouse or similar government institution to access some public records.
If your recent car injury lawsuit has been made public, all of the information you included in your lawsuit is available for the public to see. These include:
● General evidence
● The substance and nature of injuries people sustained
● Expert testimony
● Testimony from ordinary people or eyewitnesses
● Names of all witnesses who testified
● Settlement amount
These are records that are made out of court. In most instances, only the parties involved in the lawsuit can access them because they are private. The negotiations included in the lawsuit also include certain terms of confidentiality. Settlement records are made public only when the lawsuit is tried in court, wins, and the plaintiff receives a settlement from the defendant.
Can private lawsuits ever be made public?
A personal injury lawyer would inform you that this rarely occurs. The only exception may be if the public’s safety is in danger. That too would only occur in extreme conditions which don’t apply to the vast majority of car accident cases. A good example would be a ridesharing company getting into a serious car accident. Since many people ride in car rideshares, the general public has the right to this information.
Are there any drawbacks to car records being kept primarily private?
If anyone else is involved in a car accident similar to yours, he or she may be at a disadvantage because he or she would not know what to expect in terms of outcome. However, since most public injury lawyers are skilled at crafting powerful personal injury lawsuits, your lawsuit information does not need to be accessible by the public. Your car accident personal injury lawsuit is confidential. Now that you know that your car accident personal injury lawsuit is confidential, you can breathe a sigh of relief.