The Legal Term of the Day: "Settlement"

Personal Injury
Settlement Negotiations
Darryl Isaacs, Owner and Managing Partner of Isaacs & Isaacs, P.S.C., a Louisville Kentucky law firm with offices in Lexington, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, submitted this post as part of a series to explain legal jargon to consumers.
Q: What is Legal Settlement?

“In Civil Law, Settlement refers to the legal agreement adopted by opposing parties before or during court proceedings, spelling out the negotiated terms and obligations that all will accept to officially end a dispute.”

In a nutshell, it means that you are ending the court proceedings before you reach the trial phase. In most cases all parties involved have come to an agreement on the compensation amount, or its equivalent, which is mutually beneficial to those parties.

What is the compensation for? It could be for a variety of reasons that may have caused physical or financial damages​ for which you believe you should receive compensatory reimbursement or payment.

There are several types of Settlements:

Class Action Settlement – Have you received something in the mail that says a company could be named in a part of a Class Action Lawsuit? This suit covers a larger class, or group, and is targeted at a single or group of entities that are alleged to have wronged that group in some way. Sometimes the entity will “settle” without admitting or accepting blame.

Structured Settlement – We hear the commercials about being able to cash in your Structured Settlement. The Settlement is set up to compensate the benefactor on a structured payment schedule. Instead of getting paid in a lump sum, they are paid over a time period agreed on by both parties.

Mandatory Settlement Conference – This is the mandatory first meeting to try to iron out the differences between the parties involved. Facts and information will be shared to try to come to an agreement early in the process.

“In order to get the justice and repayment you deserve, it will not always be necessary or even recommended to go into a traditional courtroom for a trial. If you have a strong case, and all parties realize it, there may not be a reason for a fight – the other side may immediately be willing to meet your terms, and the case will be settled then and there by drafting a binding agreement of how you will be repaid and what other actions, if any, will be necessary.”

Think of it as accepting the safe bet on a gameshow, before taking the chance of losing or winning everything.

For more information on the term Settlement, including video and podcast versions, please visit the Isaacs & Isaacs, P.S.C. website at

For information on other legal terms, please visit the Isaacs & Isaacs, P.S.C. website.

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