Settlement refers to an agreement the defendant and plaintiff reach in order not to bring the case to trial. Here are five facts about settlement.
1. Settlements Must Be Protected
A settlement needs to be protected to ensure that all parties involved get their due. The plaintiff needs to be given his or her expected settlement amount and the defendant must abide by those terms. You can utilize a Settlement Preservation Trust to ensure the plaintiff’s needs are met. You can also use these services to accommodate for financial flexibility, protect the settlement amount from being wastefully dissipated and ensure the distributions aren’t sold or encumbered.
2. Settlements Are Compromises
You need to remember that settlements are compromises. If you’re the defendant, it means you won’t be going to court. Because of this, you won’t be found guilty of charges or be expected to pay the full amount of the plaintiff’s demands. For the plaintiff, this means you won’t get your full demand. Instead, your attorneys will negotiate to come to the best compromise possible. You need to be aware that you won’t get everything you want, but your attorney will attempt to settle the dispute fairly.
3. There Are Three Main Types
There is a traditional settlement, where the defendant and plaintiff are involved in a legal dispute but reach a compromise before the case can go to trial. This type is the most common, and it’s the result of a majority of lawsuits. There is also a type called a collective settlement, which is most common in disputes between groups of plaintiffs and a single defendant, such as a union and an employer. All individual lawsuits are grouped together in a collective settlement. The final type is a structured settlement, where a payment plan is developed for the payout instead of the traditional lump-sum payment.
4. Be Prepared To Settle
Whether you’re the defendant or the plaintiff in a case, you need to be prepared to settle. Even if you want to go to trial, settling may be the best thing for you or it may end up being the easier option. You should discuss your options with your attorney, gather all required documentation and prepare for potential financial and property transfers. Settlements are often chosen because the dispute can be handled privately, compared to the public nature of many trials.
5. Confidentiality May Be Required
Many settlements are made confidentially, meaning the details of the settlement are to remain private. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant may reveal certain details of the settlement with the general public or other parties. The exact details of confidentiality vary on a case-by-case basis. The entire settlement may be private or only certain details may be confidential. Consult with your attorney to determine what you’re allowed to discuss with outside parties.
A settlement typically results in what is called a voluntary dismissal. This term means any litigation related to the case can also be dismissed. Settlement can occur when practicing any type of law, but the specifics will differ depending on the case.