How Do Truck Accident Settlements Work?
If you were hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, you could be entitled to compensation for the property damage and injuries you sustained. Personal injury lawsuits are generally filed in civil court and allow you to seek a legal judgment of damages.
However, at any time either before or during litigation, the parties can seek to resolve their dispute through settlement. Settlements are the most common outcome for big rig accident cases today. This legal alternative will often help the parties in the lawsuit to avoid the expense and time of trial.
We offer additional information on how settlements work and their advantages and disadvantages below.
Semi-Truck Accident Settlements and Alternatives
A settlement is reached when the parties to a personal injury lawsuit have reached an agreement outside of court. Settlements can be reached using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques, which include:
Arbitration is unique in that it provides a binding resolution that will replace a legal trial. Negotiation and mediation, on the other hand, are non-binding ways to reach an agreement that will replace trial.
The Advantages of Settlement
Reaching a settlement has several major advantages. It is generally more cost effective and takes far less time than a resolution in court.
The alternative dispute resolution process is generally not as adversarial as litigation because the parties are able to present their case confidentially without admission of fault on behalf of either party. The parties, with the element of fault removed, are often less defensive and better able to present their case in a calm and rational manner, making achievement of an amicable settlement more likely.
Parties that use ADR in a truck accident case will be able to present their case frankly, stating their believed damages and liability theories, and will receive the opinion of an objective third party experienced in truck accidents.
The Potential Downsides of Settlement
In most cases, a settlement is preferable to prolonged litigation. With that being said, there are some potential disadvantages to settling a case.
First, in reaching a settlement, the plaintiff will usually be required to give up the legal right to further pursue any action associated with the truck accident. The settlement agreement will be binding and will prevent the plaintiff from ever bringing a trial on the same claims.
Further, the settlement may be for less than what the plaintiff could have won at trial. Jurors are not always predicable and there is always a chance that the trial may have resulted in an even greater award for the plaintiff. However, there is also certainly the risk that the trial results in a lesser award or a total loss.
Lastly, settling will generally prevent the plaintiff from publically holding the defendant accountable for their harmful actions. For some plaintiffs, this is important as they seek to alert others to the potential for harm caused by the defendant.
Nationwide 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys
Most truck accident cases will end in settlement. Settlement is a complex process that requires the assistance of an aggressive and experienced attorney. The truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group offer superior negotiation skills and settlement know how. Our track record of outstanding settlements speaks for itself.
Our team of semi-truck accident attorneys will seek to achieve compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more during the settlement process. We offer a free consultation to new clients and have office locations across the country. Call Zinda Law Group toll free at 800-863-5312 to start on your road to recovery.