A settlement is the most common way a personal injury lawsuit is resolved in the United States – and rarely do these claims go to trial. However, even the best planned out and negotiated settlements can encounter snags – the biggest of these being that the settlement is rejected by the court.
While this instance is rare, it is important for injured victims to understand why a settlement could be rejected by a judge and what you can do to prevent this from happening to your own case.
The judge will review the facts of the case and the settlement amount. While the attorneys may feel that the settlement is fair for the client, the judge will also consider justice in addition to the financial compensation. If the judge feels the settlement is too low, they may reject the settlement agreement in court and request the parties to negotiate further until a fair and justifiable settlement amount is reached.
The rejected amount and the court-approved amount may only vary slightly – even sometimes by just a few hundred or thousand dollars. The judge will provide guidance as to what they feel is “fair” and what settlement they will accept.
Class action lawsuits are complex and require injured victims to split the compensation received. If too much compensation is being given to an attorney or one of the class representatives, a judge may reject the settlement offer.
The court-accepted settlement could still mean attorneys and representatives are paid in the millions, but a judge may decide to lessen their cut of the earnings when they feel too little is going to the victims and too much going to attorneys.
Settlement agreements are made under “good faith” by all parties entering into the agreement. It is possible for the court to reject a settlement if they feel one party has been taken advantage of by the other party – this is especially true if a corporation is settling with a private individual.
Also, if the terms of the agreement are unfair or a judge feels that they are too one-sided, the court may reject the settlement until the terms are fair to both parties. There are times, however, when a judge will still accept an agreement that is extremely one-sided, but this is typically in cases where gross negligence was portrayed by the responsible party – such as the oil spills by BP in 2012.
It is not always the courts that reject settlements. Each party has the right to accept or decline a settlement offer. If your attorney feels that your settlement is too little or that it is unfair, they may decline it and request another settlement offer to be drafted.
If you have been seriously injured, you want to not only get a fair settlement, but also to ensure that the courts accept that settlement. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney. Contact the team at Malman Law regarding your case and let us evaluate the compensation you may be entitled to. Call us at 888-625-6265 now or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.