Settlement Negotiations in Pennsylvania
One of the ways that your personal injury attorney helps with your claim is through settlement negotiations. How you approach the negotiation process is very important to receiving the compensation you deserve. As you enter into negotiations, you may wonder what happens if you don’t reach an agreement. Are the statements made by your personal injury law firm on your behalf admissible in court later? Our lawyers explain.
Are settlement negotiations admissible in court in Pennsylvania?
225 Pa. Code § 408 prohibits a party from admitting settlement negotiations in court. Statements made during the negotiations process are not admissible in any proceeding to prove the value of the claim. In addition, statements made during negotiations are not admissible to prove the amount or value of the claim.
Why are settlement negotiations not admissible in court?
The reason that settlement negotiations are not admissible in court is so that the parties can negotiate freely. If the parties had to worry that what they said would come into court, they would be very cautious about what they would say. Alternative dispute resolution is more likely to work when the parties can discuss the issues openly.
While it’s true that what is said or offered isn’t admissible in court, it’s still important to be strategic about the proceedings. Your personal injury attorney should still be mindful of what information they are sharing. When you work with a personal injury law firm, they can help you prepare a plan for settlement negotiations as part of the overall process of pursuing your case.
Is a settlement an admission of liability?
Another question is whether a settlement is an admission of liability. If statements made in pursuit of a compromise are not admissible to prove legal liability or the value of the case, is a settlement an admission of liability? In Pennsylvania, the technical answer is no. 42 Pa. Code § 6141 says that a settlement or payment for injuries is not an admission of liability unless the parties agree to the contrary.
The reason for the rule is to encourage the parties to resolve the case. For some victims, it’s important to have the highest monetary payment possible. In other cases, an admission of liability on the part of the defendant is an important goal of the victim. The parties should be free to create the full terms of the settlement.
Personal Injury Attorney for Settlement Negotiations
There are many steps involved in helping a victim receive the compensation that they deserve. With most claims resulting in a settlement, knowing how to approach negotiations is key to getting the results that you deserve. Rest assured that making an offer to settle the case can’t be used against you in court.
Our personal injury lawyers can assist you from start to finish throughout your case. We understand the details of how settlement negotiations work, and we have experience in how to make negotiations effective. Contact us today to talk about your case.