While that may seem like a strange and irrelevant question to ask at on the surface, it is really not. This is especially true if you are ever involved in a personal injury accident and try to hire a personal injury lawyer to seek legal action and a monetary settlement from the defendant. This is because, contrary to popular belief, most personal injury cases are settled out of court through the mediation process. You’ll probably be involved in such a process and you’ll be required to sign a settlement agreement (along with the other party.)
What is a settlement agreement?
Your personal injury lawyer in Mountain View should tell you to be careful when signing a settlement agreement because it basically takes your right to sue the defendant for future damages resulting from the personal injury accident in exchange for a lump sum of money from him or her (the defendant.)
Motions to enforce
California’s personal injury law does allow the courts to intervene if both parties sign settlement agreements. The courts can enter into a judgement with the parties involved. The purpose of this is to ensure that the terms of the settlement agreement are indeed enforced. If the settlement is signed outside of court, all parties involved must sign it. If the settlement is reached in court, all that is needed is a verbal agreement in front of a judge.
You and the defendant can request the courts to enforce the terms of the settlement until its obligations have been fulfilled. If the person you are suing is not abiding by the settlement terms, you can ask the courts to intervene with a motion to enforce the agreement. Additionally, when you cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer can ask for mediation by third-party that is mutually beneficial and unbiased to both the parties.
Insurance companies exist to pay the least amount of settlements legally possible. This is often annoying for the plaintiff who may have incurred substantial bills and expenses from his or her personal injury accident. California’s personal injury law protects the plaintiff by requiring the insurance companies to pay once the settlement agreement has been signed. They have thirty consecutive days during which to make the payment. You can sue the defendant’s insurance company in court and obtain a better settlement if it refuses to honor the terms of your settlement agreement.
You can indeed get your fair share in a settlement agreement, now that you know how the law protects you as the plaintiff, you can hire a good personal injury lawyer to help you get the settlement you want and need from your mediation with the defendant.