When you’re in a car accident, you might make a claim to the insurance company. You might also file a claim in court. In both situations, at some point, the other side might make a settlement offer. When you receive a settlement offer, you need to know how to evaluate it. It’s important to fully understand what you’re signing. Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys explain what it means to settle a car accident case.
What Does It Mean to Settle a Case?
What it means to settle a case is to finally and fully resolve all of the issues that relate to a case. When you settle, you’re creating a final agreement that states what the outcome is for the case. Essentially, you’re creating a result by agreement with the other party rather than having the judge or the jury decide the outcome of the case. What it means to settle the case is to agree to a final, binding resolution that fully addresses the questions and issues and releases all rights that relate to the claim.
What Does It Mean to Settle a Claim?
Settling a claim means a complete resolution of the case. It fully ends and resolves all issues that relate to the case. Both parties have the right to have a judge or jury decide the case. However, when you settle, you and the other party agree on what the resolution is going to be. When you settle, you know what the outcome of the case is, and you agree to enter it as the final judgment of the court. Both sides give up their right to have the case heard and decided by the judge or jury.
What Happens in a Lawsuit Settlement?
What happens in a lawsuit settlement is that the parties state the complete and final agreement that resolves the case. The parties list everything that each party is going to do as part of the final judgment. For example, if one party is going to pay the other, the lawsuit settlement states how much they’re going to pay and how they’re going to pay it. Both parties sign that they accept the lawsuit settlement as a full and complete resolution of the case. The judge also signs the settlement agreement and enters it as the final judgment of the court.
What to Look for in a Settlement
Creating the right settlement document is a critically important part of resolving your case. Courts speak through their written documents. Ultimately, what’s in the settlement agreement is what’s going to be enforced by the court. Even if the other side verbally agrees, or even agrees in writing in another document to do certain things as part of the resolution of the case, if those things aren’t listed in the settlement agreement, it’s going to be as if they never happened.
A Final Statement of the Outcome of the Case
The first thing to look for in a settlement agreement is whether it completely and accurately states what the agreement is with the other party. Understand that the agreement is the full resolution of the claim. Even if you have additional damages that arise in the future, you can’t go back and reopen the case. So you need to make sure that the settlement agreement is a full and fair reflection of your damages. It’s important to evaluate your case for future medical bills to ensure that you’re settling for a fair value.
Pain and Suffering; Tax Implications
As you evaluate the settlement documents, be aware that any settlement that fully resolves the case also resolves a claim for pain and suffering. Make sure that the amount that you receive includes a fair amount for pain and suffering. In addition, the way that the settlement is categorized may have consequences for whether you owe taxes. Learning about the tax system for car accident settlements can help you decide if your settlement is written in the most advantageous way.
A final resolution of the case must state if the other side is going to pay your attorney fees. If it’s not in the agreement, the other side isn’t going to pay. Having the other side pay attorney fees for a car accident case is somewhat rare, so it’s not something to expect in most cases. However, if it is part of your agreement, you need to make sure that it’s stated in your settlement.
Permission From the Insurance Company
Sometimes, resolving a car accident claim by settlement requires approval from your insurance company. If you’re going to claim uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from your own insurance company, how you resolve the third-party claim impacts how much the insurance company has to pay.
For that reason, your insurance company may require you to get their permission before you enter into a settlement. You aren’t going to need permission in all cases, but it’s something that may be a possibility that you should be aware of.
Timeline for Payment, Structuring of Payment
A settlement should include a payment timeline. In addition, if the payment is going to be structured, the manner of payment should be spelled out in the settlement. Detailing the particulars of how and when payment will take place can make the claim easier to enforce as well as help you avoid disappointment and confusion.
Case Information and Documents
The settlement should include the factual details of the case. If the case has already formally been filed in court, it needs to include the case name and number and the addresses of each party or their attorneys. It should state that the settlement resolves the last remaining issues and closes the case.
Our Las Vegas Attorneys for Car Accident Settlements
Do you have questions about your car accident settlement? We can help you understand what it means to settle. Our team of Las Vegas attorneys can ensure that your car accident settlement fully and fairly reflects the value of the case and protects your rights. Call us today for your free consultation.