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Q1. Does such kind of settlement contract preclude the right of the parties to report the accident to the Police?

 

A settlement agreement is a contract between parties on a civil basis. Investigation by the Police, on the other hand, belongs to the criminal realm. Settlement on a civil basis cannot exclude criminal liability. Let’s review a rather extreme hypothetical situation: A driver rode dangerously and crashed into your supercar, causing total loss of your supercar and permanent disability to you; but you, for whatever reason, reached a settlement with the driver whereby you did not require damages from him and even paid him $1 million. This settlement is of course binding on you; but it cannot negate the fact that the driver has driven dangerously and cannot stop the Police from laying charges against him. In the settlement agreement, the parties have probably agreed not to report the accident to the Police. However, even if you have agreed not to report the accident to the Police, such agreement has no effect because it may amount to perverting the course of justice.

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