Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Reaching a Settlement Agreement in a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case

Posted Friday, June 22, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Not every personal injury lawsuit leads to trial. Some parties might try negotiating a settlement agreement to resolve their dispute outside of the courtroom instead. If successful, settlement negotiations can save both time and money and avoid the hassle of litigation.

*What is a Settlement Agreement?*A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that resolves a legal dispute. The contract is usually based on one party’s agreement not to sue in exchange for a certain amount of money.

However, the parties cannot just enter into an agreement carte blanche. The court must make sure that the settlement amount is reasonable based on the discharge of claims. The party requesting the settlement has the burden of proving that the offer is reasonable.

*Pros and Cons of Settling a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case*Deciding whether to settle a case instead of going to trial is a major decision that should not be rushed. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. For example:

An experienced attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons and determine which option is right for you. (Keep in mind that you might fail to reach a settlement agreement. In that case the lawsuit can still go to trial.)

*Example of Case Resulting in Settlement Agreement*In April of 2017, Brook Ashcroft found her sister Kelli and Troy Sullivan dead in a bedroom at her parents’ house in San Juan County. Investigators determined that Kelli and Troy died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Brook and Troy’s family both filed wrongful death lawsuits against the Ashcroft parents, Jim’s Heating and Refrigeration, and Inter-Island Propane for negligence, wrongful death, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The two lawsuits were consolidated and ultimately dismissed after the parties reached an undisclosed settlement agreement.

In this case, the parties decided to keep their settlement agreement confidential. They would not have been able to keep court records private had they gone to trial. Also note that the case was dismissed, which means Brook and Troy’s family will not be able to pursue legal claims related to their loved one’s death in the future (depending on the terms of their settlement agreement, of course.)

*Contact Us Today*Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you were injured or a loved one was killed because of negligence. Our experienced attorneys will examine the facts of your case and help recover compensation for your injuries, whether by reaching a settlement agreement or proceeding to trial. We can explain your legal options and develop an effective strategy that suits your needs.