What is a 998 Offer?

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If you are past the pre-litigation stage of a lawsuit and are getting ready to head to court, a 998 offer may come up. Under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) section 998, a 998 offer allows a party to offer the opposing side financial incentive to accept a pretrial settlement.
Why Would You Want a 998 Offer?
Making a 998 offer often can save time and money for all parties. It cuts the costs and time of a trial and other various court or attorney fees. Even if the offer is not accepted by the other party, a court will see the attempt of making the offer as a good faith attempt in settling the case before trial. Courts always encourage parties to settle cases before trial.

A 998 offer also shifts one party’s costs to the opposing party, it makes the opponent think about the true value of the case before going to trial. Costs that may be shifted to the opposing party in a 998 offer include:
What Happens After a 998 Offer?
After a party makes a 998 offer, the opposing side can either accept the offer and settle the case or reject the offer and go to trial.
Requirements of a 998 Offer

In order to make a 998 offer, the actual offer has a few requirements:

In addition, CCP section 998(b) state that a 998 offer must be made at least 10 days before the commencement of trial or arbitration.

There are many additional aspects of a 998 offer, they are an extremely important part of our legal system in California. Talk to our attorneys today if you have any questions about 998 offers.
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