'The terms of this Release and Waiver as well as the orthodontic treatment of my child
xxxxx are to be kept confidential by me, and will not be disclosed to anyone without the
written authorization of said Doctor or an order from a court of competent
It's a really personal question and decision regarding the confidentiality aspect. A settlement surely saves the time and aggrevation of litigation. The really prudent think would be to consult with an attorney who does dental malpractice work so see if financially it makes sense. Consulting two attorneys would make sure that one attorney is not giving you an answer based on his own self-interest instead of yours.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
In my experiences the dental community has been notoriously tight in regard to finances. If you do not have legal counsel involved and the orthodontist offered $5000 hush money I would have strong suspicions the true value of the case could exceed this offer.
There are research tools available to make a determination of what a fair market value is. The computer research could be accomplished and analyze the value juries have put on these cases in the past with similar facts involved with your son. If the case really looks promising then it would be worth it to spend the money to have an expert qualified orthodontist review all available information and make a determination whether he or she believes malpractice exists and just how strong your case is. We will also request to the expert doing this evaluation that he be available for a trial if necessary. A trial would be most unlikely, as professionals we must approach every case assuming it will go to trial so that we are thoroughly prepared to represent our client's best interests.
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In addition to the fine input given so far, please note that there may be tax issues related to a confidentiality agreement. Best to have independent counsel review this offer for you...
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