A settlement agreement can refer to a way that some personal injury claims get resolved. Instead of having a court pronounce a damages award for the victim, the parties may simply agree to a payment amount. This can often save the parties and the court valuable time as well as monetary resources. The terms of the payment amount may be finalized in what is called a settlement agreement.
A personal injury settlement is usually reached outside of court, before trial begins. In some cases, settlement can occur in the middle of trial, especially where facts emerge that make it highly likely that one party will prevail.
In other areas of law, the term “settlement statement” refers agreements involving loans and debt arrangements.
However, a settlement is not always an option, especially if the parties have a disagreement on one of the terms. In such cases, the parties may sometimes reach a partial settlement, and then litigate the disputed terms in court.
When both parties agree to a settlement, they should finalize the terms of the settlement into a written document. This document, called the settlement agreement, operates basically as a contract between the two parties. The parties should agree to the terms, review them, and sign them in order to make the agreement enforceable.
If the parties have already filed suit, they should give notice to the court and submit the document to the judge for review. The judge can review the terms to ensure that they don’t violate any laws. If needed, the judge can convert the settlement agreement into a court order, which may provide additional protection for the parties.
A settlement agreement should contain important information pertaining to the settlement, including:
Lastly, a settlement agreement should also include whether the rights to the settlement amounts can be sold or transferred as a property interest. Some recipients in a settlement arrangement may be interested in selling their settlement in the future.
As with any type of legal contract or agreement, a settlement agreement should be entered into carefully. If at all possible, you should hire a personal injury lawyer for legal representation whenever dealing with settlement agreements or damages award. Your attorney will be able to represent and guide you during the negotiation process, and can be on hand during official court meetings.
Last Modified: 10-16-2015 05:31 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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