What Is A Personal Injury Settlement Agreement?
If you were injured in a preventable accident due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Most personal injury claims are resolved outside of court when the parties reach a settlement agreement. A personal injury settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that will contain how much financial compensation is being exchanged to release the other party from further liability.
What is a Release of Liability?
When both parties to a lawsuit reach an agreement, the defense attorney for the at-fault party will prepare a release of liability. This document outlines the terms and conditions of your settlement. Once it is signed, you cannot change the terms or pursue additional compensation from the at-fault party for the specified accident or injury. If you agree to the terms, you will need to sign the release of liability in the presence of a notary public before you can receive a check. Your attorney will send the signed document to the at-fault party’s attorney or insurance company. Their insurer will wait to send out your check until they receive the release.
How Does the Settlement Process Work?
From the moment your lawsuit is filed, both attorneys will be preparing to negotiate a settlement, which is often the best course of action for a personal injury claim. Civil litigation can be expensive, and both parties are usually looking to resolve the case quickly.
One party initiates the settlement process by making a specific offer of compensation to the opposing party, who may accept, reject or modify the proposal. This will usually happen during the mediation process before the claim is ever brought before the court. If the opposing party changes the offer, then the first party must accept those modifications for the agreement to take effect. There might be several rounds of negotiations before the parties reach an agreement.
Advantages to a Settlement Agreement
Settling a case is a guaranteed win, and you can receive the money, or at least a portion of it, rather quickly. Resolving a case with an agreement is also much less expensive and time-consuming than litigation. Additionally, your attorney’s contingency fee may be reduced since you were able to avoid trial. Settlement agreements are also confidential, unlike court records that are public information.
Disadvantages to a Settlement Agreement
Agreeing to a settlement essentially gives up your right to pursue any further legal action. In exchange for the benefits listed above, you will typically have to accept a smaller amount of compensation than you may have been awarded in a trial. However, the outcome of going to court is never certain.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact Hall Law. We will evaluate your case and discuss your legal options to help you determine if a settlement agreement is the appropriate course of action. Our experienced Minneapolis personal injury lawyers will ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 292-1979 or request a free consultation online today.