What Happens After a Case Is Settled?

After a case is settled, meaning that the case did not go to trial, the attorneys receive the settlement funds, they prepare a final closing statement, and they give the money to their clients. Once the attorney gets the settlement check, the clients will also receive their balance check.

There are usually two ways to get compensation from those who are at fault after an accident or injury:

  • You are offered a settlement, and you accept the proposed settlement outside of court;
  • You go through with a civil lawsuit to collect damages.

Settlements are almost always offered when insurance companies are involved in a case and occur when an insurer or a defendant makes an offer of payment. The offer may be carried out before any lawsuit has ever been filed, but it may also be made after a case has gone to trial, as long as no final verdict has come back.

Documents Needed After Finalizing the Settlement

Once you settle a claim, you sign several documents that mark the ending of the legal process, such as:

  • Settlement agreement

The first of these documents is the settlement agreement. This represents the contract between the parties, setting forth the terms of their agreed-upon settlement.

In its simplest form, the settlement agreement states the fact that for a specific amount of money paid, the lawsuit is dismissed. In a more complex form, this type of document can stipulate:

  • payment limits and plans
  • confidentiality clauses
  • other terms particular to the claim

Once you sign the settlement agreement, there rarely is a turning back option. Only in rare cases of fraud or mutual parties’ mistake can the document be set aside.

  • Full liability release

Another important document that can be part of the settlement agreement is the full liability release. This document releases any and all claims you as the plaintiff may have against the defendant. This means that you cannot bring the same claim again against the defendant. Some documents can also stipulate that you are forbidden from bringing any other claim for any issue, at any time, based on any facts or circumstances against the defendant.

After these documents are signed, the checks are issued and your attorney will disburse the settlement money to all necessary entities:

  • to you
  • to themselves for any outstanding fees and costs
  • to medical lien holders.

Settlements can occur after a lawsuit has been filed. In this case, your attorney will file a dismissal with prejudice.

If you have more questions regarding settlements please contact our Miami-based office The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.