What is a Settlement?

A settlement is the result of an out of court agreement between the injured party also known as the plaintiff and the party responsible for the personal injury, who is also known as the defendant.  In a settlement conference, attorneys for both parties and often the defendant and plaintiffs as well, meet with a third party known as the mediator.  The mediator is often a retired judge or lawyer or a lawyer with an active practice.  The mediator is specially trained to bring the plaintiff and defendant to an agreement that avoids a court trial but reflects an understanding of what the outcome could be.  The mediator will remind both parties that with court costs out of the way and the risk of unknown outcomes not an issue, they can afford to compromise in order to avoid a protracted trail period.  Avoiding trial at a court is usually a strong incentive for both parties to compromise and allow a reasonable solution to end the complaint.  It is important to understand the settlement conference since 85 to 90 percent of all civil cases settle successfully outside the courtroom.