How to Evaluate an 18 Wheeler Truck Accident Settlement
The majority of truck accident cases will settle out of court and never reach the trial stage. Some plaintiffs without an attorney (known as pro se) or without experienced counsel will end up settling for less than their case should have been worth. Other times, the trucking company will end up paying a premium to resolve the case in order to avoid trial. It is not always easy to evaluate a settlement and determine whether it is fair.
It has been said before that the measure of a fair settlement is that neither party is happy with the result. This means that the defendant ended up paying out more than he or she wished to, and the plaintiff accepted less than he or she desired. There are several factors that offer guidance as to the fairness of the settlement. In general, if the settlement reached is close to the judgment value of the case, then it is considered a strong settlement.
Consider Your Chances of Winning At Trial
In evaluating a settlement, it is important to first consider your chances of prevailing at trial. Assess the issue of liability.
If the defendant is clearly at fault, such as cases in which the driver was intoxicated, ran a light, or other such negligent behaviors, then your settlement value should not be diminished due to the risk of losing at trial.
On the other hand, if you have only a 50 or 60 percent chance of prevailing on the issue of liability, you may wish to consider accepting a settlement valued at 40 or 50 percent less than you may be awarded at trial in an effort to guarantee an outcome.
Some cases will not involve clear cut issues of liability. Often, several parties may be partly at fault for the accident. In negotiating a settlement that involves multiple parties, you must take into account the fault apportioned to the other parties. This can be difficult because sometimes one or more parties will be insolvent and not able to contribute to the settlement.
Take Into Account the Fault of All Parties
Further, if you contributed in some way to the accident or injuries, you must factor in your degree of fault when evaluating the settlement. Therefore, if your fault is evaluated at 30 percent, then the defendant with whom you are settling could likely make a fair offer of 70 percent of the plaintiff’s damages.
Weigh the Potential Impact of Your Venue
Another consideration in evaluating a settlement is the venue of the potential trial. Some jurisdictions are notoriously liberal or conservative. Dependent upon your venue, going to trial could be helpful or result in a potentially lower judgment than settlement may achieve.
We Seek the Full Recovery to Which You Are Entitled
Most truck accident cases will settle out of court. While the majority of truck accident victims will secure the representation of an attorney to assist in their recovery, a few attempt to forego representation and go it alone. This can make it difficult to determine whether you are obtaining a strong settlement.
When you seek the assistance of the truck accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group, you can rest assured that our attorneys will seek the best settlement possible. We will strive for compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our firm has assisted in countless settlements and will fight for your full recovery.
With several locations across the country, we are available when and where you need us. Call Zinda Law Group toll free at 800-863-5312 to get a free consultation and start building your successful truck accident case.