Settlement and judgment costs

You need to take settlement and judgment costs into account in your claim.


A settlement is the payment, or intended payment, of costs to resolve a claim or dispute.

Settlements can be made either:

  • out of court if the parties reach a settlement before the claim is heard in court
  • in court where a court can hand down a judgment with settlement details.

Settlements must contain a release of liability, known as a deed of release. This releases the defendant from being sued for the same issue in the future.

The release needs to state that:

  • the plaintiff releases the defendant from any future liability
  • they accept the settlement amount as final resolution of the matter.

Both parties must sign the final agreement of the terms of settlement.


A judgment is either a:

  • judge’s decision about a dispute
  • court order for the payment of an amount of money or costs.

A consent judgment includes the terms agreed to by the parties to a court proceeding. Unless a judgment by consent is set aside or varied, it’s the final settlement of proceedings.

The court determination document must verify any judgment costs claim in the Medical Indemnity payment application. The determination document could be a terms of settlement or costs order.

A party has a right to appeal the judgment of a lower court through a higher court.

You can’t claim a settlement or judgment amount while it’s under appeal.

Page last updated: 29 October 2019