Money paid by settling co-defendants lessens the judgment exposure of the remaining, nonsettling defendants. Settlement credits are particularly important when a plaintiff sues many defendants, alleging that each one is partly responsible for his injuries.

Finding out what kind of settlement credit a nonsettling defendant may be entitled to is part of the defense attorney’s job. Generally, plaintiffs willingly provide settlement information, though some do so only grudgingly or at the last possible moment. However, litigators still must be vigilant to make sure the plaintiff provides all relevant settlement information.