When Is A Settlement Agreement Binding?

Most personal injury cases settle out of court. However, before a case can settle, victims have to attend doctor appointments, document injuries, calculate damages, and engage in various other tasks. After an attorney builds the evidence and begins the negotiation process with the insurance company, you may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company. Settlement agreements can be complicated, and it is important to retain an attorney who will explain every detail of the settlement negotiation process to you before you sign on the dotted line.

Contact Hopkins Law Firm to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. You should speak with us if you have questions about the settlement negotiation process and its role in your personal injury case.

What Is A Settlement Agreement In A Personal Injury Case?

Settlement agreements involve one party releasing the other party from liability, usually in return for a monetary payment. The settlement agreement is a written document, and both parties must sign it and agree to its terms. A settlement agreement resolves the case, and the parties execute the judgment by following the terms of the settlement. This execution often includes the payment of money from one party to the other.

Negotiating A Settlement Agreement

Negotiating a settlement agreement means speaking with the adverse party about their willingness to resolve the case and come to a mutually satisfying compromise. Factual issues are often discussed, and documentary evidence is considered in light of the case’s context. Parties negotiate a settlement and discuss the proposed terms.

The settlement process can take a significant amount of time. Typically,  the parties involved make several offers and counteroffers. Once the parties agree on the terms and conditions of a settlement, the settlement is put in writing and executed.

Victims need to be able to substantiate their claims to obtain compensation. A personal injury lawyer can develop a strong legal strategy before attempting to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Personal injury settlement offers will depend on the strength of the evidence presented in your case.

What Should Be Included In A Settlement Agreement?

Every term you want to be a part of the final judgment should be included in the settlement agreement. The final settlement agreement should state the amount of money one party will pay to the other party. A timeline may also be included in the settlement agreement. In some settlement agreements, a party may admit liability. In other settlement agreements, a party may not admit liability.

Signing a settlement agreement means it is difficult to reopen the judgment even if new facts arise in the future. The details the parties want to be included in the final resolution of the case must be included in the settlement agreement that both parties sign.

Can A Settlement Agreement Be Overturned?

If the settlement is defective, then one of the parties may overturn a settlement agreement. If a settlement agreement is entered into under fraud or duress, then it will be ineffective. Mutual mistakes or misrepresentations by either party can also be grounds for overturning a settlement agreement. It is not easy to overturn a settlement agreement. The party requesting that the judgment be set aside must prove that there are substantial reasons for invalidating the judgment.

Is A Settlement Offer Binding?

No, settlement offers are not binding until the other side accepts the offer. Settlement offers are only proposals to resolve the case. Parties must agree on the resolution of the case and prepare the appropriate documents for an offer to become a binding offer. Without agreement from the other party, the settlement offer is not binding.

Parties who receive settlement offers may accept them, reject them, or make counteroffers. If both parties cannot agree on a resolution, then nothing binds either party, and the case will proceed to trial. Once both parties memorialize the agreement as required by the law of the jurisdiction, a finalized settlement offer becomes binding.

Settlement Agreement Counteroffers

Settlement agreement counteroffers invalidate the offer. When a party receives an offer from another party, three options are available to the receiving party: accept it, reject it, or propose a different offer. A counteroffer is a proposal of a different offer. By making a counteroffer, the party is rejecting the first offer. Settlement agreements are usually the result of offers and counteroffers.

Contact Hopkins Law Firm Today To Schedule A Free Consultation

Contact Hopkins Law Firm to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. If you have questions about the settlement negotiation process, contact us to discuss the details that will help you understand the process and how it relates to your case. Our attorneys can help you negotiate with insurance companies to obtain the monetary compensation you deserve under the law.

FAQ

Are There Time Limitations To My Claim?

Each state has its own laws regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In South Carolina, you typically have 3 years from the date of the injury to bring a personal injury claim. If a party later learns of the injuries, the party will have the same amount of time from the date the injuries were discovered or should have been discovered.

How Much Is My Claim Worth?

No two cases are identical, and the value of your claim will depend on many different factors that you cannot predict or foresee. The severity of your injuries will influence the value of your claim as well as the quality of your legal representation. The costs of your medical expenses and the extent of your medical treatment will also affect the outcome of your case.

Will My Case Go To Court?

No two cases are alike, and it is impossible to say if your case will or will not go to court. 95% of all civil cases settle and do not proceed to trial. That said, if liability or damages are contested, your case may go to court.

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