It is important to note that a plaintiff can never force a defendant to settle a case. Settlement is voluntary and is usually accomplished when it becomes clear to the defendant that the plaintiff has a legitimate case and that the defendant is at risk of being found liable to the plaintiff for damages at a trial.
In all types of litigation including personal injury litigation, defendants do not like being sued and the thought of having to pay the plaintiff. It is very important for the attorney for the injured party, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, to put pressure on defendants to encourage them to evaluate the case and attempt to settle the case with the plaintiff. The plaintiff does this by moving the case forward in a number of ways including providing proof of the defendant’s fault to the defendant’s attorney, compiling the plaintiffs medical records and providing them to the defendant’s attorney, obtaining records from the defendant’s attorney, taking depositions if necessary, and attempting to enter into negotiations with the defendant’s attorney. If the defendant is not interested in settlement at this point in time, the plaintiff’s attorney can request a trial date from the court. The prospect of a date when the case will be tried before a judge or jury many times will lead to the parties to the lawsuit considering ways to settle it to avoid a this as a trial is very stressful to all involved.
Lawsuits can settle at any time in the process including right before trial, the day of trial, during trial or even after a judgment has been rendered. It is the hard work of the plaintiff and his or her attorney that generally makes the prospect of settlement look good to the defendants to the litigation.
Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today.