January 6, 2020
Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby
What is a settlement?
The vast majority of cases settle. If you speak to an Atlanta tractor-trailer accident attorney, they will likely say approximately 95% of cases settle before trial. But what is a settlement and why is it happening so frequently?
A settlement is when the parties to a lawsuit reach an agreement to resolve their differences. Typically, a settlement results in one party (usually the defendant) paying another party (usually the plaintiff) a cash amount, in exchange for a release of the claims. The settlement will be a formal written document, typically several pages in length that establishes the terms and conditions of the settlement. These will include at a minimum:
- (a) the amount of the payment;
- (b) when the payment will be made;
- (c) the claims being released;
- (d) indemnification (i.e. protection from future claims) by the recipient of the payment for future claims.
Standard settlements often include a lot of other terms that your Atlanta brain injury attorney, Atlanta garbage truck accident attorney, or Atlanta wrongful death accident attorney can explain to you.
The reasons people settle vary. However, the benefits to settlement are easy to see. Often, the monetary value of the case can be determined with general accuracy through prior verdict research and/or experience of the attorney in like cases. There is always the risk of an outlier verdict of course (where the plaintiff gets a lot more or a lot less than generally thought), but this is actually a reason for settlement: certainty. Litigation is expensive (especially trial), when there is a lot of money invested in experts, documents, demonstrative evidence, and the like. The settlement likely avoids a lot of these expenses, which ultimately are paid back by the client out of their recovery.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of settlement: closure. All parties involved in a serious case (from class actions to truck accidents, to fatal accidents, to shootings, to brain injuries, you name it) experience a lot of stress from the litigation. When the case is settled, the outcome is known and the parties can begin moving forward with their lives made better.
Our goal at Carr & Weatherby is to make lives better with honor, efficiency, and effectiveness. We want to resolve cases as efficiently and effectively as possible, whether through settlement or trial, so our clients lives are improved. Carr & Weatherby is a group of experienced lawyers based in Atlanta, Georgia. We have recovered millions of dollars for injured plaintiffs and received one of the highest verdicts in Georgia history for fatal accidents. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants, so we are able to give our clients unique insight, credibility, and perspective. There is nothing we like more than helping good folks in need of honorable, effective, and efficient representation.