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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 12478
Experience:  Attorney with significant personal injury experience
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We are a skin care company servicing clients. We did a chemical

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We are a skin care company servicing clients. We did a chemical peel service to two clients who are sisters. Our protocol was always a single coat of the 25% TCA solution. Apparently, the client ask for another coat which is not our protocol but they were insisting, so our esthetician applied another coat. After a few days, they got 2nd to 3rd degree burns from the reaction to the 25% TCA solutions. I already reported it my Insurance company.

The Client has been calling us that they just want to settle it with us monetarily to keep things quiet. They said that their lawyer advise that to them. They mentioned that Insurance only cover bodily injury and not emotional/depression injuries, so they told me that I might as well settle it and not go thru insurance anymore. They said they will sue me again after settling with insurance for emotional damage and depression.

Please advise your thoughts if this is even legal after insurance determines and settles it with them.
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I will do everything I can to assist you.

Ordinarily, when a personal injury claim is settled by an insurance company it is settled with regard to ALL claims the injured party can bring against the insured. However, it is conceivably possible to settle only one aspect of a legal claim, such as a claim for medical bills or physcal pain and suffering. Your insurance company's obligation to provide coverage depends on the language of your policy, so it would be a very good idea to look it over in great detail to determine exactly what is covered.

If the policy specifically excludes claims for emotional distress, it is possible that such a claim would survive the settlement, provided that the language of the settlement agreement clearly indicated the intent for an emotional distress claim to survive. This would be highly unusual.

So, is it possible for the insurance policy to only cover the bodily injury aspect of damages and not claims for emotional distress or pain and suffering? Yes, but the policy would need to expressly limit coverage in this respect. Assuming the policy did limit coverage and that the settlement agreement made clear that it was not a "general release" to extinguish all subsequent legal claims, then it may be possible for them to come after you personally--but these are a LOT of "if's." The first step is to review the policy. If you don't have it, you'd be wise to request a copy from your insurance provider. Take things from there once you understand specifically what the policy includes.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your detailed explanation. You have the best explanation I got so far. To follow up the question. The injured party has been really pushing us to settle without lawyers involve. I don't know how that is possible. They are asking 200k to keep their mouth shut. If I don't give and go with insurance they will go to the media and bad mouth the company. Can I sue them for this while the case is already with the insurance?

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, there is no law against publicizing their bad experience with your company. If they make false statements of fact, then you may have a claim for defamation, but assuming what they say about their experience is true, their right to speak out is protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

As I noted above, it would be a very good idea to you review your insurance policy and let them handle the claim. Depending on what specifically your policy covers, the bulk if not all of their damages will not need to come directly out of your pocket. You have insurance precisely so that you don't have to defend against claims of this kind on your own.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.
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