Settlements are agreements to resolve a lawsuit or a dispute through the terms of the agreement. In most agreements, the parties agree not to admit any wrongdoing. The amount of compensation and terms of the agreement may be confidential, as well as other details about the case. In fact, these days most civil cases are resolved through a settlement.
After a D.C. injury case, the parties reach out to one another to discuss a settlement—and in some cases, a court may require the parties to discuss settling the case. Settlements may allow the parties to avoid the time and stress of a prolonged court proceeding, which could take years in some cases. Courts often encourage settlements because it allows courts to conserve their resources for cases in which no agreement can be reached. But the parties must come to an agreement voluntarily. They cannot be forced into an agreement.
Some settlements also require the approval of a court. In Washington, D.C., if a person entitled to file or defend a claim on behalf of a minor child agrees to settle the case, a court must approve the settlement after details of the injuries, costs, and the settlement are provided to the court. There also may be a hearing on the matter.