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What does it mean to ‘settle’ a case?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | Business & Commercial Law

It might surprise you to learn that the majority of civil cases never actually go to trial. It is much more common for feuding parties to decide to settle a case rather than to take it to court.

Whether or not it is more advantageous for you to settle your case or take it to court depends upon the nature of your dispute. However, settling has some serious advantages, which is why it happens so often. According to FindLaw, settling a case does not require lawyers or courtroom procedures, though they may be helpful.

What are the advantages?

It is possible that a trial may take several years. Taking a case to court is often a very long and expensive process. From the perspective of the plaintiff, settling is a way of avoiding the expense of going to trial while still receiving some compensation for whatever wrong the other party committed.

From the perspective of defending parties, choosing to settle may provide a way of eliminating potentially greater risk from a jury trial. It is also less expensive for the defendant to settle in most cases, as well.

How does it work?

It is possible to settle a case without the assistance of lawyers or the legal system, but in most cases it is advisable to have a lawyer to give legal advice throughout the settlement process. Often, the feuding parties can use the courtroom to exchange information in an open manner.

Once both sides have enough information, one side will often produce either a demand or offer letter to the other, depending on if they are the plaintiff or the defendant. Both parties will negotiate, and if they come upon an agreement they settle the case.