Your class-action settlement check is in the mail. Should you cash it?

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HOUSTON, Texas  -Hey Toyota owners, guess what? If you're involved in that class-action unintended acceleration lawsuit, then no need to go to the courthouse, your check is already in the mail. The Toyota economic loss settlement administrator has begun sending checks out to folks who may be impacted by the case for a whopping $29.23. But it comes with a caveat. According to the fine print, by signing the check you agree, in part, that you will fully and forever hold Toyota harmless to all claims and liabilities past, present or future.

With words like that it makes you wonder what you're giving up if you do sign the thing.

We asked University of Houston Law Center Assistant Professor D. Theodore Rave whether folks should cash the checks or not. His answer was simple: "They should cash the check. they're not waiving anything additional by cashing the check."

Turns out if you wanted to sue Toyota on your own, you had to opt-out of the class action suit a while back. And if you're involved in an accident because of a fault with the car, you're not signing away any additional rights to sue.

"People who are getting these checks are bound by the settlement anyway," Rave explains. "They're bound by the waiver already just by the fact that they're members of the class and didn't opt out."

So if you're strapped for cash, dig in, an extra $30 never hurt.