A settlement is a legal agreement between two parties currently involved in a dispute. A settlement resolves the dispute without leaving the decision to a judge or jury. The parties can negotiate a settlement agreement before filing a lawsuit or after the civil action begins.
Types of Settlements
A settlement generally involves agreeing to a payout amount and, most commonly, this is a lump sum payout. In some cases, though, the parties may agree to a structured settlement.
Lump Sum Settlements
Lump sum payments are the most common, and the claimant receives their entire settlement amount — minus attorney’s fees — at one time. This allows you quick access to your money to pay bills, cover lost wages, and take care of other expenses or invest as you want.
In some cases, a structured settlement might be a better option based on the facts of the claimant’s case. For example, in cases where there are significant ongoing care costs, receiving a more substantial first payment and then regular payment in the future.
Structured settlements are typically negotiated as a part of the settlement negotiation process. You can choose when you get payouts, how much your first check will be, and other details of your agreement.
Calculating a Fair Settlement Value
Settling for too little money is a common mistake when people try to manage their insurance claims on their own. Talk to a lawyer about your case and let them calculate your expenses and losses before you agree to any payout amount with an insurance company.
An attorney can identify all your related damages and collect documentation of them. They can often recognize related expenses and losses that you might overlook, preventing you from leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Advantages of a Settlement
Negotiating a settlement leaves the claimant with much more control over the outcome of their case than relying on the court to give them a favorable verdict and issue them a payout that covers their expenses and losses. Agreeing to a settlement offer means the claimant knows how much they walk away with and helps them avoid an expensive trial as well.
Settling out of court is not the best route in every case but can be a good idea if you can reach a fair offer that compensates you for your damages. It is imperative to work closely with an attorney who can help you understand what a reasonable offer will look like during this process.
Talk to a Pittsburgh Attorney About Your Case
If you have an ongoing legal dispute in Pittsburgh and wonder if a settlement is a good idea, Berger and Green can help. Let our team review the facts of your case and ensure you are getting a fair settlement offer before you sign anything.
We can even negotiate a settlement in your case or pursue a personal injury lawsuit or other legal action.