statutory offer of settlement

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Statutory offer of settlement is a monetary offer extended to a plaintiff by a defendant to settle all disputes before trial. Usually the plaintiff has a short period of time depending on the state and case to accept the offer. If the plaintiff accepts the offer, the settlement will be filed with the court and will be enforceable. If the plaintiff declines the offer and no other settlement is met, the case will go to trial. A plaintiff must seriously consider the offer because in most jurisdictions the plaintiff will not be able to recover costs if their judgment is less than the settlement offer, and trial costs can easily cost thousands of dollars. And in some states like Colorado, the defendant can actually receive costs from the plaintiff if the judgment for the plaintiff was less than the defendant’s settlement offer. 

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]