A settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant to fully resolve the case.  Normally, a settlement includes a monetary payment to the plaintiff in exchange for a release of liability in favor of the defendant.  A release is a complex written legal document containing the parties’ agreement.  It contains the rights and obligations of the parties as part of the settlement.  The release will almost always contain the names of the parties, the event that led to the lawsuit, the compensation to be paid to the plaintiff and a statement that the plaintiff will pay off all lawful liens that apply to the case.  If a lawsuit has been started, then part of the settlement includes the requirement that the plaintiff file a withdrawal in court.   

A settlement can occur at any time.  Of course, both parties must agree on the settlement.  Although a settlement can occur at any time, it makes sense that the case cannot be settled until the case is ready to settle.  A case is ready to settle when the following have occurred:  (1) the plaintiff’s medical condition, and other harms and losses have reached a point where they can be evaluated and assessed; (2) both parties have shared enough information about liability and damages so that both parties are comfortable in evaluating the case, and (3) each party must be willing to settle. 

Each party can settle the case at any time assuming that they are willing to accept the other side’s offer.  I frequently explain to clients that we can settle their case tomorrow if they are willing to accept the low number offered by the other side.  Therefore, although one party might want to settle the case the case can only settle if both parties agree on the fair value of the case.  As a result, cases normally take longer than most people expect.  

If you believe you have a valid personal injury claim, and need a lawyer contact The Bartinik Law Firm, PC. for help.  Our address is 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut, and our phone is 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.


Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut