Generally speaking, a personal injury settlement is an agreement by which an injured person agrees to accept money in exchange for dismissing a claim for damages against the person(s) who caused the injuries.
Typically, upon entering into a settlement agreement, the injured party will sign a release. The release is a legal document that absolves the other side of any further liability arising out of the circumstances that gave rise to the claim for damages.
When someone is injured, it is not uncommon for the person(s) who may be responsible for the injuries to make an offer to settle the matter early on. These offers are typically offered by insurance companies to limit their exposure to liability for personal injury claims. This is why it is so important to consult an experienced attorney prior to accepting any offer from an insurance company or anyone else.
Lawyers who handle personal injury legal matters can help you decide whether or not to accept a settlement offer. They have experience dealing with insurance companies and know how to maximize the amount to which you may be entitled.
A lawyer can provide a more accurate opinion of the likelihood of success and value of your personal injury lawsuit.
Settlement agreements can take place a variety of stages of the civil litigation process. They can occur before or after a lawsuit is filed. They may not take place until right before trial, during trial, or even immediately following a trial before a jury has rendered a verdict.
It’s important to understand that the right to accept or reject a personal injury settlement offer rests with the client, not the lawyer. Make sure you discuss all of the potential consequences of accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.