A settlement occurs when opposing parties to a lawsuit resolve the case out of court. Settling a personal injury case may happen before or after the trial starts. Typically, the process for settling the case starts with a settlement offer.

What Is a Settlement Offer?

A settlement offer is typically a proposed payment made by a defendant or insurer to the plaintiff. Once an offer is made negotiations begin. A plaintiff may:

  • Reject the offer.
  • Accept the offer.
  • Propose additional or different terms. When a plaintiff proposes new terms, the defendant has the right to accept or reject those terms.

When parties agree to a settlement, a personal injury settlement is made. An offer can also come from a plaintiff.

What Is a Personal Injury Settlement?

 A personal injury settlement is an agreement between two parties. The final terms are described in a written document. The written agreement contains:

  • Names and contact information of each party involved in the case.
  • Money amount of the agreement.
  • Terms of the payment. This could be a lump sum or a series of payments.
  • Legal consequences if the defendant fails to pay.

What Are the Advantages to Settling a Case?

For the plaintiff, the advantages of settling a case are:   

  • Guaranteed victory
  • Avoid a long trial
  • Money sooner, rather than later

The advantages for a defendant settling a case are:

  • Control the money the plaintiff receives
  • Avoid legal costs
  • Avoid future lawsuits, as a plaintiff usually has to give up the right to sue the defendant in the future over any issue pertaining to the underlying case

Should I Talk to an Attorney about Settling a Personal Injury Case?

Agreeing to a settlement requires you to give up some rights. Before entering negotiations, you should talk with a personal injury attorney. The attorney will work to protect your legal rights while resolving your personal injury claim.