A settlement occurs when an agreement is reached between both sides in a lawsuit. A settlement can be reached at any phase in a lawsuit even in the middle of trial, although they typically occur prior to trial. Parties themselves may engage in settlement negotiations on their own or they may hire attorneys to assist in the process. Settlement agreements can be achieved through various means such as mediation, arbitration, or face-to-face negotiations. Many cases today resolve their issues via settlement because litigation trials can be extremely costly. Settlements offer parties an opportunity to resolve the legal wrong in a way that is mutually agreeable to both sides and much less expensive than traditional litigation.