What is a 998 offer in California?

What is a 998 Offer in CA?

What is a 998 offer? Hi, I’m Frank Nunes. I’m a California personal injury trial attorney practicing in the state of California. A 998 offer gets its name from California Code of Civil Procedure section 998. It’s otherwise known as a statutory offer. It has special rules to the offer which are very important to a litigant’s case.

First of all, 908 offers are time sensitive. There’s a certain amount of time in which the person who receives the offer must respond in writing to the person that made the offer. Any party on either side of the litigation in state court can make a 998 offer in California. It can be made up to 10 days before trial in the case is supposed to start.

What is the purpose behind the 998 settlement? To encourage early settlement.

How do they do that? By encouraging people to evaluate whether they will get a better result at trial than the current offer in front of them. The way it works is when a defendant sends a 998 offer to a plaintiff in a case, the plaintiff has to evaluate that offer and see if he or she will get a judgment higher than the offer on paper to them at that time. If they don’t, that allows the defendant’s attorney to go to court and ask the judge to award the cost of expert witness fees and other litigation costs that normally are not recoverable. Sometimes this can include attorney’s fees, but not very often.

On the other side of the coin, when a plaintiff makes a 998 offer or better termed as a 998 demand, the defendant must evaluate that demand and see if he or she will get a better result at trial. In other words, can I pay less on this claim? Will a jury award less money to the plaintiff than what they’re demanding that I pay them now? Similarly, if the plaintiff’s offer is lower than the amount of the judgment, so you might’ve demanded $10,000 and the judgment comes in at $12,000, the plaintiff has beaten that offer, and the plaintiff, just like the defendant, can go to the court and ask that the other side, in this case, the defendant, be obligated to pay for the expert witness fees and sometimes attorney’s fees in those matter.

Well, that’s it for today’s video on 998 offers. By the way, if you found this information useful, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Why? So you can continue to get great new videos every time we post more content. And if you have questions, I want you to pick up the phone and call me. I can answer these questions. I answer questions like this all the time. You can reach me at (559) 436-0850. I’m Frank Nunes, And thanks for watching.


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