Settlement Terms

Written by Jacey Harmon
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When settling a lawsuit, the lawyer is the one responsible for negotiating the settlement terms. A good lawyer will be able to negotiate a well designed settlement that fully meets the needs of the client. The client must be aware of what options are available with a settlement. The client must also be able to properly express his desires and needs to the lawyer. This way the lawyer will be able to know exactly what a person will want in his or her settlement.

Designing a Settlement Right for You

If you are a person who knows how to manage money, a lump sum settlement is probably the right type of settlement for you. If you are intimidated by managing a large sum of money, a structured settlement is probably a better option. In either case, the first thing that needs to be agreed upon is the settlement amount. If both a lump sum and a structured settlement are offered, the lump sum will be a smaller amount than the structured settlement.

If a structured settlement is accepted, the specifics of the agreement need to be worked out. If one expects continued medical expenses, then a medical annuity would be appropriate in the settlement. If the injury is severe, an education or special fund may be in order. Loss of income would require the use of a lump sum or income annuity. It is important to take advantage of being able to design the settlement before it is agreed upon. Once the settlement is accepted, the terms cannot be changed.

How the payments will be made needs to be agreed upon as well. Larger settlements may allow for monthly payments to be made. Some settlements may require just a couple of annual or semi-annual payments. If payments are expected to last over a specified period, a cost of living adjustment should be considered as well.

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