Whether it’s a dispute over a motor vehicle accident, superannuation claim, total permanent disability or an injury from slipping, ‘settling’ your case has a lot of benefits.
Settling means a case is ended by agreement with the other party rather than by a court’s decision. Because there is so much tension and anxiety associated with legal disputes, it’s important that lawyers like the experienced team at Gerard Malouf and Partners help you understand the significance of settling.
Settlement can be made at any time
The right lawyer will indicate when the time to settle will bring you the most advantage and sense of peace. Different cases bring different grievances. For example, personal injury claims should result in medical care being paid for; claims in which a mesothelioma sufferer is likely to die and leave family behind should include payments for the future of the sufferer’s family into the settlement agreement.
You’ll still need a court to confirm that you have settled
Once negotiations lead to a settlement agreement, getting the court case finalised requires a consent judgment which means the terms of your agreement become an order of the court. This is the same in terms of finality as a judgment of the court following a hearing.
The court will recognise settlement agreements between two parties
This happens by giving a hand written or typed copy of the Terms of Settlement, signed by both parties, to the court at a pre-trial review or hearing and filing a form called a Consent Judgment at the court registry. Some variations on settlement letters are a Calderbank letter or an Offer of Compromise. Your lawyer can talk you through how these options are distinct from other types of settlement.
What should be included in a settlement?
Settlements should say if legal costs and interest will be paid, when any payments are to be made and should describe the consequences if an agreed payment is not made .
Benefits of settlement
Even the most stubborn defendant may be quietly open to settlement
When you have brought a complaint against a defendant, then you decide you would like to consider settling, you can write to a defendant. Putting the words ‘Without Prejudice’ on the top of the letter or email should mean your negotiations cannot be used as evidence in court. Your lawyer will give you guidance on this option. Without Prejudice letters are an opportunity to tell the other party about the benefits of settling the case.
The other options related to settlement have their own particular caveats. If trying to decide how to handle a compromise from the other party Gerard Malouf and Partners will need to guide you so your compensation is satisfying and elective.