In personal injury claims, a settlement offer may be presented from one party to another regarding reimbursement for injuries or losses. In most cases, a settlement will end a lawsuit either before it begins or before judgment on the issue is rendered by the court.  Thus, a settlement negotiation can often spare the parties much time and resources on the costs of litigation. If claimants pursue their case and win the judgment, they are awarded pain and suffering damages.

On the other hand, settlement offers can sometimes lead to a lesser amount rendered to the plaintiff.  For instance, the plaintiff might not want to go through the ordeal of a full trial, and may accept a settlement offer from the defendant if they feel it is sufficient to cover their losses. 

Who is Allowed to Make a Settlement Offer?

It’s usually up to the parties as to whether or not they want to initiate a settlement.  It’s also up to the parties regarding the amount of money awarded in the settlement. 

However, if trial has already officially begun, and each side is already represented by a lawyer, they usually can only make communications to each other through their lawyers.  Thus, any settlement offers, negotiations, and acceptances of offers would need to be accomplished with an attorney present. 

Also, any statements from settlement negotiations that occur before trial generally can’t be used as evidence in court. 

What if a Settlement Offer is Rejected?

Settlement offers are not mandatory; that is- there is no requirement for any party to make a settlement offer or accept such an offer.  If a settlement offer is rejected, this will usually mean that the parties will need to proceed with the civil lawsuit.  This is often the case where there are unresolved issues that need to be addressed under the guidance of the court system.  Personal injury lawsuits typically result in a monetary damages award

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Settlement Offer?

In any event, dealing with a settlement offer usually requires the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney.  It’s in your best interests to hire an experienced lawyer in your area if you need help negotiating a settlement offer.  Your attorney can provide you with the legal advice necessary in such situations.  Also, your lawyer will be able to represent you in court if you’re unable to reach an acceptable settlement agreement.