If you’re trying to obtain a settlement after a trucking accident, there are a few things that you should expect to have happen. When you’re working with your attorney you may find that you can work toward or are presented with a settlement option instead of having to go to court for a trial. The manner in which the settlement comes about can vary.
You may receive a settlement after alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation, negotiations or arbitration. Negotiation and mediation are both non-binding but give you a chance to state what you want in a less formal setting. Arbitration is a binding process that could replace a civil trial if you don’t believe that court is the answer. In most cases, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to appear in court, especially if there is strong evidence that the truck driver was at fault. Trucking companies are more likely to want to settle than to head to court and risk a higher penalty.
Resolving a case with a settlement is more attractive because it’s faster than seeking a resolution in court. It is generally cheaper as well. There doesn’t have to be an admission of fault when negotiations take place outside court, and both parties tend to be less defensive. Both sides present evidence, and that evidence is used to come up with a settlement that works for the injured and relieves the company of any further obligations.
Before settling, an individual should consult with a personal injury attorney or legal professional, because a settlement is final once issued. If a settlement can’t be worked out, it’s still possible to head to court for a trial.
Source: FindLaw, “Trucking Accident Settlements: What to Expect,” accessed Nov. 03, 2016